Service for students supplies employment, resources, guidance
A homeowner needs a yard mowed, a business needs letters typed, and parents are looking for baby sitters. Meanwhile, teen- agers are searching for jobs. Bringing these two groups together is the work of a Westchester County, N.Y., program called "YES" (Youth Employment Service).
The program, which serves the Larchmont-mamaroneck area, now has 3,700 students registered and listings from 2,000 employers. And it fills about 2,500 jobs a year, its director, Nancy Teply says. She reports that each week her office sees from 700 to 1,200 young people. The service is free. Workers under 18 must have the consent of their parents to take a job. Youngsters hiring out as baby sitters must have references.
YES lists jobs in six categories. These include jobs offered by commercial concerns such as offices, restaurants, service stations, ahd hospitals, where the minimum wage is $3.10 an hour. Good typists, Mrs. Teply says, are in constant demand and can command a beginning hourly wage of $3.75 to $4.
Home maintenance jobs include lawn mowing, gardening, painting, repairs, housework, and washing and waxing of cars, for which the minimum wage of $3.10 an hour is paid.
Baby sitters and mothers' helpers receive from $1.50 to $2.50 an hour, but there are far more requests for baby sitters than there are youngsters willing to take the jobs.
Party helpers are another category, and for these jobs, a staff member gives young people basic training in waiting on tables and cleanup operations.
"Entertainers" include puppeteers, magicians, musicians, etc., who hire out for both children's and adults' parties.
Tutoring, the final category, pays from $3 an hour for high school students to $6 an hour for college students. The director says there is a large demand for tutors in all subjects, but particularly science and math.
YES clients are expected to follow through with their own job leads, apply in person, and settle on wages and working arrangements.
Students are given hints on dress, appearance, and conduct, "which sometimes go down like a lead balloon and provokes some dirty look and dirty words," Mrs. Teply admits. But for the most part the student applicants are ready to learn and take guidance, she says.
Motivation is the key to most of the success stories the staff hears about. It finds that college students are far more serious about job-finding these days and are willing to do more menial chores to help pay for their spiraling education costs.
Volunteers help students get information about special summer opportunities for learning and traveling and precollege programs for credit. YES maintains a career library which contains up-to-date information on several thousand job areas.
It keeps permanent records on both students and employers and is thus able to write reference letters for students when they are ready to move on to permanent jobs. The program has build solid rapport with the community and its institutions and businesses, and every new establishment is prompty told about YES and its reservoir of youthful potential employees.
The project, which was begun as a Junior League pilot project 17 years ago, is now an independent nongovernmental agency under the sponsorship of the Parent Teacher Student Association.
It is housed in the Mamaroneck High School and receives $3,000 each year from the United way Fund, a sum that just about covers telephone and postage bills, the YES director says. It is manned by a volunteer staff of 16 women.