Paragould theater helps combat high teen unemployment rate

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT)- As summer kicks off a lot of teenagers may be looking for a summer job. But it may not be as easy as you think. Summer 2013 will be the fifth consecutive summer the teen unemployment rate will be over 20 percent.

Summer jobs are generally the first step on the employment ladder for teenagers and one Region 8 business is giving a lot of teens their first job.

From motion pictures to sequels, the staff at Paragould Cinema 8 gets to experience it all first hand.The movie house usually hires about 6 teenagers every year.

Here at Paragould Cinema 8 several teens work "behind the scenes" whether it's an usher or cashier. Teens say working at the movie theater has taught them new skills and all about responsibility. Assistant Manager Chris Songer says this will definitely pay off down the road.

"It's a great first job, it teaches you job experience you learn a lot of useful skills," said teen worker, BJ Martin.

BJ Martin works as an usher at Paragould Cinema 8 says this is his first job.

"I just felt like I needed to be busy and get the kind of job experience so if I want to go to a bigger job I'll know what I'm doing,"Martin said.

He says having a job is a lot more animated than he expected.

"It's always fun to come to work because you're always smiling and having fun," he said.

Samantha Todd also landed her first job at the movie theater.

"Once you really get to break out of your shell here you become something you didn't think you could," Todd said.

She say she's learned a lot from working at the theater.

"You learn a little bit more as you go but If you screw up here like on little things it doesn't mean necessarily that it's going to stay bad," she said.

Chris Songer is the assistant manager at the theater and says they hire about 6 teenagers every year.

"It's good to hire from the community to be able to keep them here in the community, obviously this is a good place for them to actually enter into the workforce," Songer said.

He says the they learn many lessons that will pay off later on in life.

"They learn different work ethics-be responsible for yourself, to show up on time, just different basic qualities that will help them later in life," he said.

Martin and Todd said they recommend Paragould Cinema 8 for any teenager looking for their first job.

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