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Summer job hunting season for young people is in full swing

The number of teens applying for summer work at popular spots like golf courses and city pools is higher than it has been in years.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The summer golf season was in full swing at Indian Trails Golf Course on Wednesday morning. And as Grand Rapids puts the 2020 pandemic in the past, more job opportunities are available at the city's golf courses, and those opportunities are getting a lot of applications, especially from young people.

Poynter cites the New York Times report that "the share of 16- to 19-year-olds who are working hasn’t been this high since 2008." And the City of Grand Rapids Director of Parks and Recreation David Marquardt says there's a big response from young people for available summer jobs.

"We have so many job opportunities available still for young people and middle age people as well," says Marquardt. "I think it speaks to the number of opportunities that are available across the country, specifically here in Grand Rapids we're doing something a little bit unique, we're in our second year of a program called GROW 1000 and that is a real commitment to giving employment opportunities to young people here in the city of Grand Rapids." 

And not just for jobs at the golf courses, but at the city pools, including lifeguarding applications. Job openings for park maintenance and park management roles are seeing a lot of applications as well.

The city of Grand Rapids has partnered with dozens of local businesses and organizations for GROW 1000. The goal is to provide jobs for 1,000 young people. It will run for six weeks, and offer young people 120-hour work experiences starting in July. 

So overall, young people are expected to make some real cash this summer, with jobs paying $11 to $15 an hour, and they'll likely learn a little something about "work life" too. 

"It's good money," notes Marquardt. "We like to believe that we provide a fun environment, and environment that is often times very positive, so to be a part of that experience I think is something even a little bit more sometimes than the money." 

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