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Summer jobs there for filling | Bakersfield life

It’s not just a good time for a teenager to apply for a summer job. It may be the best moment ever, according to Teresa Hitchcock.

“The outlook is probably better this summer than any other summer in history,” said Hitchcock, Kern County Economic Development Manager and director of the Employer Training Resource, which prepares and connects job seekers with companies in need of labour.

Employers are desperate to hire, she said, especially in areas such as restaurants, hotels and catering, where teenagers traditionally find summer jobs, she said.

But it’s not just about entry-level positions. Hitchcock said job seekers with even a little training under their belt have a good chance of landing a job in Kern County these days.

Employers “in all fields” are looking for help, she said, and many are paying more than $15 an hour.

“I (would say) to teenagers that now is a great time to start submitting these nominations,” she said. “At present.”

The labor market has certainly tightened as the economy rebounds strongly from a devastating period through much of the pandemic. Unemployment has since fallen and businesses are posting signs saying they have had to reduce opening hours because they cannot find enough workers.

The Exact Staff employment agency in downtown Bakersfield has “a lot of vacancies” to fill, recruiter Richard Gutierrez said. Demand for workers is up 15-20% year-over-year, he said.

There is plenty of work available in warehouses and general labor jobs, Gutierrez noted, including packers and stackers. He said workers such as medical assistants were also in demand.

What happens all too often in Kern County, however, is that people don’t take the occasion seriously enough. As a well-established problem in local workforce development circles, job applicants are quick to demonstrate their lack of so-called soft skills, such as arriving presentable and on time. .

“Some people go in and look like they just got out of bed,” Gutierrez said, checking off job interview bans like flip flops, shorts or tank tops.

He recommends business casual, not even a suit and tie, necessarily. And please, he added, bring two pieces of ID and be prepared with a social security card or birth certificate.

Another thing: Go around, Gutierrez said. Different jobs offer trade-offs in terms of pay, commute time, and schedule. Don’t rush into a position without seeing what else is there, he said.

The Kern County Employer Training Resource can be of great help.

Focused on people between the ages of 18 and 24, Employers’ Training Resource prepares people to enter the job market and then helps them move directly into new employment.

For free, job seekers who go through Employers’ Training Resource can get help with writing resumes and completing job applications online. The center teaches people how to ace an interview and runs a variety of employment workshops.

Hitchcock advised job seekers to call the Employer Training Resource, US Employment Center, at 661-325-HIRE (4473).

She welcomed people between the ages of 18 and 24 to call an integrated training and mentorship program called EPIC, or Envision Plan Innovate Connect. The number is 661-336-6460.

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