Students are finding jobs because a high school junior created an Occupation Station for peers to find applications and know who is hiring.
In Manitowoc Wisconsin, a few weeks ago a display stand loaded with job applications for local businesses popped up outside the library at Lincoln High School — but few teachers could figure out where it came from.
It wasn’t placed there by the school’s guidance office, or an instructor, but instead was the brainchild of a student of the school looking to make the process of finding a job easier for her peers.
“I was trying to find a job last year and it was very difficult to find applications, junior Lauren Davidson said. “I thought it would be a good idea to have a place where people could take applications, because there were probably a lot of people in the same position I was in last year.”
It was mid-July last summer by the time Davidson landed a job at Culvers. The teen was only able to work about six weeks before school started up again. With summer break again quickly approaching, Davidson decided to start the application gathering process much earlier this year — and planned to help her peers along the way.
“I didn’t do it well last year and wanted to help people do it better this year,” she said.
In January Davidson began stopping at local business and asking for applications — sometimes asking for 20 or more at a time.
“I got a lot of questioning looks,” she said. “I would explain my reasoning, and most businesses were really welcoming once they understood why I needed 20 applications.”
Davidson, with the help of art teacher Barb Bundy-Jost, has since streamlined the process. The two keep at least one copy of each application on hand and use photocopies to stock the display, which they call the “Occupation Station.” Having all the applications in one place saves students time, Bundy-Jost said.
“It provides a great service to her peers,” Bundy-Jost said. “It’s the lousiest winter on record, and she didn’t want them to have to run around. She thought this would be a great way for kids to just come, pick up applications, and then turn them in to get a job.”
Davidson said it has been a challenge to keep up with demand for applications. She stocks applications in the early morning before school, and by lunch the Occupation Station is empty.
“I have seen some kids really excited,” Bundy-Jost said. “Summer is coming and they are excited to get a job.”
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