As spring has turned into summer, hundreds of students in the area have graduated college and high school.
That means many of them will be going to work or continuing their education in the fall.
Whether looking for a permanent job or just summer work, things are not so great out there for the young worker -- or any unemployed person. It's an especially tough time to be looking for an entry-level job, with little to no experience and just a diploma in hand. It's tough to come right out of high school into a job that pays well, or is even full-time. But any job is better than no job, and I would advise recent high-school grads to take any job he or she can get. Even if it's minimum wage, do it.
Another piece of advice for recent high school graduates in the Valley is to take a hard look at Gateway Community College. Unless a graduate has other plans, the college is basically offering two years of college for free. There are some expenses that aren't covered, like books, but it's still a good deal. There are some rules that must be followed, but it's something both students and parents should be looking into.
With the developing technologies associated with shale oil and gas hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and a graduate is willing to do manual labor, a trade school might be the way to go. The boom related to the Marcellus and Utica shale deposits hasn't hit the area just yet -- the price of natural gas bottomed out -- but many people who should know say it's coming and it will change the employment landscape for years to come.
Whatever choice is made, the high school graduate should stick with it -- and try to work and go to school at the same time. That's difficult, but some people have been successful at doing so. Others haven't. Either way, it's worth a try.
For college grads, the working world is a lot different than college life. Hopefully, the college grad will be able to find a job in the field that fits the diploma. And, hopefully, a job can be found in the area. Everyone knows that brain drain, or bright minds having to move away to find work, is no good for the Valley.
Things are starting to look a little better in this area. The unemployment rate here in Trumbull County is 7.2 percent, in Warren 8.3, in Mahoning County it's 7.4, but in Youngstown it's 9.5. Those numbers compare with 7.2 percent statewide. The numbers are from the Department of Job and Family Services, Ohio Labor Market Information.
For all the graduates, I offer this last piece of advice: When you find a job -- if you haven't already -- take those unpopular shifts on nights and weekends. Raise your hand when the boss is looking for someone to fill in for someone or the task is so terrible no one else wants to do it. Before leaving for the day (or night), ask the supervisor if there is anything else that needs to be done. Hard work, good decision making and positioning yourself to be in the right place at the right time for promotions will pay off eventually.
Robinson is the editor of the Tribune Chronicle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org