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Putting Labor Day in perspective

Talking with local youth about why they’ve joined the work force

POSTED: September 5, 2008 5:01 a.m.

Teenagers are a big part of the local work force. Whether it’s seasonal employment or after-school work, young people are a necessary part of a local economy.

But why do they do it?

One reason is for some pocket money and something to do during the week.

Elisabeth Schacht, 19, a stocker and bagger for Publix in Flowery Branch, said she just wanted "to make money."

Christopher Sand, 17, who works cleanup at Lake Lanier Islands in Buford, said was afraid he "would have nothing to do all summer."

Shannon Roper, 19, a stylist at Gabrielle’s Hair Salon in Flowery Branch, said "I needed the money to pay off a car, to pay for the gas, and for the insurance for it."

For some, however, the reasons change.

Alicia Juiffre, 19, a bakery clerk at Publix in Flowery Branch, said when she first started looking for a job it was mostly for fun.

"I just wanted a stable job to make money to have fun and hang with my friends," she said.

Now that she has started school at Lanier Technical College, she says her reason for working is "to support my way through college and keep up with the rising gas prices."

And paying for school is a major reason why some teenagers get jobs.

Joanne Allison, 18, a sales associate at The Shoe Department at Lakeshore Mall in Gainesville, said she is working in order to save for future college bills.

"I’m hoping to transfer to Toccoa Falls in a year or two. It’s a private institution, so it requires a lot of money," said Allison, a student at Gainesville State College.

Most of these jobs, however, are part-time and not permanent.

Juiffre said her plans are to become a dental assistant after school. Sand said he wants to be a mechanic and Schacht is planning for a military career.



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