Do jobs on island hire kids under the age of
By Lily Isakson-Bell, Reporter
Getting a job is something that kids usually begin to do in high school, which means that students rely on local businesses to provide their first place of work. Most island businesses seem to hire kids under the age of 18, but are there some places that don’t? Why or why not do these jobs only hire over the age of 18?
Kim Roeser is the current manager of the Farmer’s Market. She also used to be a member of the Vashon Island Chamber of Commerce.
“I would say people looking for a job under the age of 18 have a first time job percentage of 85 to 90 percent” Roeser said.
The Vashon Island Farmers Market is a local that hires under the age of 18.
“Hiring under the age of 18 creates retention for future seasons and the opportunity for those local youth employees to grow their skills within a business,” Roeser said. “This additionally provides the opportunity for those employees under the age of 18 to train new underage employees, creating opportunity for mentorship and management experience.”
Another person with good insight on the different hiring policies of businesses on Vashon is Adam Chumas. Chumas is the former manager of The Hardware Store restaurant and current co-owner of The Pop Pop Bottle Shop coming soon to the island.
“[Hiring people under 18] was for a business need. There’s a labor pool of people under 18 on Vashon that is available, so it’s easy to hire them.” Chumas said.
Unlike The Hardware Store, Pop Pop Bottle Shop will only have limited positions for kids under the age of 18.
“Everyone that works there will have to be able to serve alcohol.” Chumas said.”Combining a school schedule, extra curricular activities, family, and what’s possibly someone’s first job can be a challenge. That said, a workplace with a variety of ages and people with different backgrounds is more fun and productive.” Luke Tomkinson, a former manager at The Hardware Store said.
Jobs will only hire under the age of 18, and only hire over the age of 18 for various reasons. Some of the reasons a business won’t hire people under the age of 18 are: not being able to serve alcohol, a general need for food safety, and needing a higher level of knowledge in a certain field to get that job.
“I feel that within the … Washington State and King County guidelines for hiring underage employees … businesses are able to define their employment needs and requirements, especially for food safety,” Roeser said.
There are some businesses, like The Hardware Store, don’t have any specific requirements outside of the ones the state holds. So, if a student is looking for a job with no prior experience with working, here’s a tip or two.
“Take a minute to think about your strengths and weaknesses and don’t be afraid to communicate those to the employer. It helps us put you in a position to succeed or at least to help you through tough [or] busy times. If you don’t know what your strengths and weaknesses are, maybe you’ll find out as you start work and can then, hopefully, communicate that to your employer.” Tomkinson said.