For Baton Rouge businesses that plan to have a Capital Region presence over the next decade, the best way to ensure they have a reliable workforce for years to come is to provide opportunities to today’s teenagers through part-time jobs and internships, the Baton Rouge Area Chamber says.
There’s a correlation between historical teenage employment and current young adult employment, BRAC’s Jake Polansky writes.
“By offering internship opportunities to high school students, we’d be upskilling our own future workforce, as so many of these students will still be in the metro area as young adults,” he says.
Teenagers can often be hired at lower wages than workers with degrees. Hiring teenagers also can provide valuable management opportunities to younger full-time employees who otherwise wouldn’t have an opportunity to hone their management skills.
There are caveats, of course. While teenagers can serve important functions in entry-level service positions and internship-style corporate roles, 16- to 19-year-olds typically won’t have the skills needed for more complex roles. Teenagers will also require more training and more supervision than their older colleagues.
BRAC has set a goal of placing 1,000 East Baton Rouge Parish School System students into internships at businesses in high-demand industries. You can learn more about that program here, and read Polansky’s post here.