A sputtering U.S. economy means many teens are jobless this summer.
However, more than 90 teens are working and earning money in U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart, thanks to the Army’s Summer Hire program.
The Summer Hire program gives young people ages 14-22 the opportunity to gain work experience and prepare for careers, while supporting the Army mission.
Jobs are available in clerical, labor and child care fields. Summer Hire employees are placed in the area that most fits with what they requested on their applications. Employees earn $5.50 an hour.
Kimberly Cooke, 14, works in the garrison’s Plans, Analysis and Integration Office on Panzer Kaserne.
“I wanted to learn and be exposed to the office environment,” she said.
While Cooke files documents and is learning the Army Records Information Management System, she finds running errands to be the exciting aspect of her job.
“I was nervous, but it was cool to meet the high-ranking directors,” Cooke said.
Some people prefer employment of a more physical nature.
Leronica Burns, 19, works at the community mail room on Patch Barracks as a laborer.
She said the goal of the CMR is to get all the mail out on time, in one piece.
The Summer Hires do a little of everything. They unload and sort mail, “pitch” junk mail and help customers.
“I like working with customer service because you can see people, and little kids are excited about what they receive,” said Burns.
She’s not the only one who appreciates “little kids.”
Maddie Krause, 16, in her second year of participating in the Summer Hire Program, works for Child, Youth and School Services’ School-Age Services on Patch Barracks.
At SAS, she helps by filing paperwork and taking care of children. She chose the child care field to prepare herself for a career as a pediatrician.
“The hardest part of my job would be the paper cuts,” she said. “I hate paper, but working with kids is fun.”
Editor’s note: Waylin Owsley and James Pritchard are USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs Office Summer Hire employees.