Job market strong for teens, college students in Pikes Peak region

Posted at 6:37 PM, May 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-21 20:37:26-04

It’s a hot job market for teens and college students looking for summer work. 

Currently, Colorado is at a record low unemployment rate of 2.9%.

The Pikes Peak Workforce Center says there are over 12,000 open positions in El Paso County and Teller County. Many of the openings are entry level and seasonal. 

Sarah Johnson said, "I’m very happy and grateful for it."

The college student has a summer job once again working at the Garden of the Gods Trading Post. This year she’s an art gallery consultant. 

"I actually managed to get a full 40-hour schedule this year which is great."

With more hours this summer than ever before, Johnson is hoping to reach some of her financial goals. 

"That’s my biggest goal not to have to take out too big of loans, to be able to actually start my own life. This’ll be the first time I get an apartment."

For Velmarie Kotwica, this summer is about getting more experience. She’s working as support staff for Eagle Lake Camps of The Navigators. 

"It’s great. I love it. It keeps me busy."

The skills she’s gaining will one day help her in her future career. 

"I want to go into child protection…so really learning how to work with different kinds of kids."

The opportunities for these students is just a sliver of what’s available. 

Traci Marques, executive director of the Pikes Peak Workforce Center, said, "Right now you have a lot of high demand in summer jobs including those in tourism, hospitality, customer service, restaurants. There a lot of open positions." 

Marques notes that it’s a big change from just a few years ago. 

"During the recession a lot of your older workers took those entry level positions. They got laid off. They lost their job by no fault of their own and they were going in and taking whatever type of jobs that they had…those people that took those jobs…really, are upskilling and having future opportunities for their employment."

In turn, it’s opening doors for young people to start their journeys’ into the workforce. 

If you’d like help finding a job this summer click here.