Jobs and Employment

Taking on the responsibility of a job is a big step. Earning money is exciting for youth and they may forget schoolwork. As a parent, you will need to help them balance school work and a job. To help a youth get work experience or earn some money before they are ready to take on the responsibility of a job, encourage them to baby-sit, do yard work or odd jobs, or volunteer. (See Volunteering.) Remember that any work they do, paying or non-paying, can help build a work record that will help them get future jobs.

Getting Ready

Before a youth applies for a job, have him/her make a list of work experience, volunteer activities, odd jobs, and of adults who can give them recommendations. S/he will need a Social Security Card and a photo identification. To get a Social Security Card, they can call (315)789-0809 or (800)772-1213. A driver's license, or a picture school identification will be accepted as a photo identification. If s/he doesn't have either of these, go to the nearest Motor Vehicle Office to get a non-driver picture identification.

If a youth is under age 18, s/he will need to get working papers/work permit. S/he can get the forms at their local high school. A physical will be required. The youth should check with the school to see if the school will do this or if s/he has to go to a private doctor.

Wages and Hours

Minimum wage is $5.15 per hour (visit www.labor.state.ny.us for more information). Some employers pay higher than minimum wage or may pay a shift differential (for example: persons working at night may get more per hour than those that work days). In some jobs like restaurants, employers can pay less than minimum wage. It is important that the youth ask about pay before taking the job. Youth are also limited as to the number of hours they can work based upon their age, day of the week, and school year vs. summer.

The following chart tells you what the limits are.

School in session
JobMaximum Daily HoursHours/Wk.Days/Wk.Permitted Hours
14 & 15All except farm and newspaper3 hrs school days
8 hrs other
1867am - 7pm
16 & 17All except farm and newspaper4 hrs school days
8 hrs other
2866am - 10pm
14 & 15All except farm and newspaper8 hours4067am - 9pm
16 & 17All except farm and newspaper8 hours4866am - 12am
Not in School
16 & 17All except farm and newspaper8 hours4866am - 12am
11 to 18Delivers and sells newspaper4 hrs school days5 hrs otherNO LIMIT5am - 7pm
Farm Work
12 & 13Hand harvest fruit and vegetable4 hoursNO LIMIT7am - 7pm6/21 - Labor day
14+All farm workNO LIMIT

Once a youth gets a job, s/he will have to fill out a form for the Federal and State governments called a W-4 form. The employer can assist in completing this form. At the end of the year, s/he will have to fill out a form for income tax. In most cases, a youth will get a refund of all or part of the money withheld. Forms can be picked up at the library. (See Libraries.) Also, see Education for a listing of vocational training programs.

Getting Leads

Here are some of the best ways to learn about job openings. First, have the youth tell everyone that s/he is looking for a job. Most people get leads for jobs by word of mouth. Youth may use other resources, such as the classified section of the newspaper, bulletin boards at schools, libraries, community centers, businesses or government offices, help wanted signs, or the Red Cross Volunteer Directory. There are several industries that typically hire young people, including fast food restaurants, car washes, movie theaters and stores.

Once a teen has identified a lead, encourage him/her to contact the employment office of the company or the manager (if there's no separate employment office) to inquire about the job. Have him/her take to their job interview all the papers needed (Social Security Card, picture identification, and work permit, if s/he is under 18).

Getting Help

As a parent or a person working with youth, you can assist by: sharing job leads, letting friends and colleagues know that a youth is looking for a job, helping complete a job application form, assisting in writing a resume, and practicing standard interview questions. It is also helpful to share with youth your experiences in seeking and maintaining employment. Youth model what they see. If a youth sees you as a responsible and conscientious worker, the youth will be more likely to be successfully employed.

The American Red Cross offers a one day certificate Babysitting Course for youth 11-14 years of age. The course is given in several locations. There is a cost of $25.00 ($30.00 after July 2004). Call (585)394-2260 or (315)789-1522 for more information.

For further information:

Finger Lakes Career and Technical Center
Career and technical classes ranging from network technician to metal trades, usually for high school juniors and seniors.

Finger Lakes Internships
We set up internships for youth enrolled in an educational facility, aged 16 to 24. This is a paid internship developed around the interests of the youth. We also provide resources for school, families and students in the areas of social and emotional skills, transition, and college and career prep. In addition, we are working with http:.//www.reclaimouryouthny.com as a resource for those who work with youth.

Finger Lakes Technical and Career Center Early Childhood Education Program
The Early Education Program prepares students to work in Child Care Centers and other Early Education programs.

FInger Lakes Works
(315) 789-1771
Assists with job searches.

Job Corps
(585)454-5130 or (800)760-4577
Job Corps provides training for youth between the ages of 16 and 24. Students stay at a residential campus while attaining their General Equivalency Diploma or high school diploma. In addition they take up a trace and receive certifications. Students with have a high school diploma can got to Job Corps to attain trade certification.

Ontario County Workforce Development
(585) 396-4020
Assistance in finding employment or better employment, gaining marketable skills, and entering education facilities.

Unity House of Cayuga County Inc.
Employment services for disabled adults.

Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities (VESID)
(585) 238-2900
Works with adults with disabilities to help them find jobs and provides retraining support.

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