No lack of summer employment expected locally

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Unemployment across the nation is 8.9 percent, and in Mississippi it’s 9.4 percent, but employers across Vicksburg don’t expect out-of-school-for-the-summer teens to have any trouble finding jobs.

“We don’t anticipate a decrease in our need for teen employees,” said Herb Wilkinson, executive director of the Vicksburg YMCA, which operates the main facility off East Clay Street and two satellites, on Oak Ridge Road and Halls Ferry Road, and Warner-Tully Camp in Claiborne County.

The Y hires about 50 teens as day-camp counselors, pool lifeguards and other positions.

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In downtown, restaurant owner Charlie Borrello doesn’t expect this spring’s economic downturn to affect summer business.

“We anticipate (business) to pick up” with a surge in tourism after the end of May, said Borrello, who expects to hire five teens at his restaurant on Washington Street for hosting and busing tables.

Another downtown business, The Ware House — a collection of bars, a restaurant, a hotel and a game room — also anticipates a surge in business.

LaToya Brooks, food and beverage manager, said she has seen a number of teen employment applications for positions such as serving and hotel front desk.

Another answer to jobs for teens is the co-op program offered to high school students through Hinds Community College.

Tommy Lee, Mississippi Cooperative Education coordinator at Hinds Career Center and Warren Central High School liaison, is confident in the part-time employment for students during the school year.

He is able to place students from Warren Central High School in entry-level positions with employers with whom he has worked for years.

Employers who seek teen help include area business offices, local hair salons and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Between Warren Central and Vicksburg high schools, the co-op program places more than 100 students a year in entry-level jobs.

Kimberly Stampley, a WC sophomore and daughter of Paula Davis and Harold Stampley, has signed up for a co-op class, but she will need to be screened before being accepted. She is hoping for a summer grocery job. If that doesn’t work, she’ll be up for volunteering, she said.


Contact Manivanh Chanprasith at