ELKHART — Depending on what you’re looking for, there’s a summer job out there for nearly everybody.
Tori Farr, 19, a 2012 Memorial High School graduate who’s working for the summer at University Park Mall in Mishawaka, said there are plenty of jobs to be had.
“Everywhere I went this summer there were hiring signs,” said Farr.
Farr works at a shoe store in the mall. It’s her second year at this job, and she’s also continuing a paid public relations internship she had during the school year. Farr will start her sophomore year at Butler University this fall. She said her employer doesn’t mind that she can only work two and half months in the summer and a few weeks over holiday breaks.
Ryan Wirt, 19, of Elkhart, has worked as a lifeguard for Elkhart parks department for four years, starting there his sophomore year of high school. He wants to be a doctor, and thinks lifeguarding is a good way to practice helping people while still having fun and getting a tan.
“I like being outdoors and I like the staff here,” said Wirt on Thursday, June 27, during his break at Ideal Beach Water Park in Elkhart.
He continued, “It’s better than being stuck in a shop all day selling things.”
Wirt said that “the best summer job” depends on the person.
“I have buddies who work in a factory and they love it,” said Wirt. “The worst summer job for me would be working indoors or a desk job.”
He said that he’s noticed the job market for young people getting better in the past few years.
“It’s not as competitive as it was a few years ago,” said Wirt. “It was really hard for people to get jobs and I was glad to have mine.”
Wendy Terrazas, Elkhart parks recreation coordinator, said that most of the park’s employees are high school or college students. She saw about 200 applications this year for summer jobs, and many of those young people were hired.
“There are very few that don’t get interviewed,” said Terrazas. “We try to call on and interview every applicant.”
Top jobs in the parks department include lifeguarding, working in the day camp and working for concessions and admissions.
Will Bernacchi, a 2012 graduate of Central High School, spends his summers organizing baseball tournaments at Central’s fields for an Indianapolis company called Pastime Tournaments.
Bernacchi will coordinate 25 to 30 games each weekend as site director, a job that he said is tough to get and a lot of fun.
“You get paid to watch baseball all summer pretty much,” said Bernacchi.
His job includes selling tickets, making sure everyone is in the right place at the right time, and answering questions.
“Since the games are at my high school, I also help out with the field work,” said Bernacchi. “I’m just a friendly face to the teams coming in. You get kids from all over the area and all over the country. It’s just for fun, but there are usually scouts out at the games.”
Bernacchi also thinks jobs are available this year for young people.
“I have a lot of friends who are doing factory jobs — those are becoming pretty easy to come by for the summer,” said Bernacchi. “I feel like nobody’s been turned down.”
He added, “Some of the more desired jobs, like internships at higher-up companies, are harder to come by but when it comes to just getting a job at a factory in Elkhart County it’s been better this year.”
Bernacchi said he has the best summer job.
“Baseball has always been a part of my life and it’s just something to get me some spending money for the school year,” said Bernacchi.
Angela Krueger, 19, of Elkhart, is spending the summer before her sophomore year at Ivy Tech Bloomington working as a cashier at Martin’s Super Market. She’s worked there since her senior year of high school.
“This is a good place for benefits and they treat you well,” said Krueger. “I like it.”
She thinks most people her age check at local restaurants for summer work. “They tend to always need waitresses or busboys,” she said.
Krueger said the best summer job would probably be one that’s outside. The worst, she said, would be working at a factory.
“A lot of kids my age do factory jobs but it’s time consuming and they don’t have much of a social life,” said Krueger. “But they deal with it because the money is good.”
Krueger said everyone should get a job during the summer.
“It helps your parents out by not having to pay for things for you, and you get to know people,” said Krueger.