Fifteen youth age 14 to 22 are getting work experience — the first job for many — through U.S. Army Europe’s Summer Hire Program.
The program is a great way for the youth to get federal experience and experience in many different areas, said Eric Hawkins, Human Resources Specialist with the Wiesbaden Civilian Personnel Advisory Center.
The students earn wages while they’re off school during the summer, he said. The clerical and labor positions around U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden pay $6 per hour and the students work at places such as the golf course, USAREUR, the post office and library.
Enrique Florido, 14, who is working at the library in the program, said he got into it for the money. It’s the first job for the incoming Wiesbaden High School freshman.
“My mom’s making me save half of it,” Enrique said. But the rest he plans to put toward a skateboard and a new pair of headphones.
He said he is learning skills that will help him in future jobs. “We’re learning how to organize things better,” Enrique said. “A big, key part of the library is keeping things organized … so we always have to be extremely precise when we do things.”
JoAnn Ogreenc, supervisory librarian at the Wiesbaden Library, said her organization participates in the summer hire program first and foremost for the students, to give them work experience. But she said it benefits the library to have young people there to help plan activities geared toward younger children.
“We tap their creativity as far as what we can do during the summer reading program because they’re closer to the age of the ones who are going to be participating,” she said.
The Wiesbaden Post Office has six summer hires who help to fill in while employees take leave during the summer, said Quintin Harvey, postmaster.
“As postal clerks we are not allowed to take any vacation from November through February of every year, those being our peak months of mail operations,” he said. “So we anticipate the summer hires as backups so that our employees can take their well-deserved leave time. They also are here to help during the heavy PCS season to lighten the load.”
Sean Marshall, 14, who is working at the post office, said, he has a whole new respect for postal workers after only a few days on the job.
Jonah Tyler, 15, said, he applied for the summer hire program to make money and get work experience.
“Walking in here, I didn’t know what to expect,” Jonah said of his first job at the post office. “But I was pleasantly surprised.”