Summer Hire employees gain valuable experience, salary
July 10, 2012
WIESBADEN, Germany - School is out and summer has started.
While some teens are spending their days at home enjoying the chance to sleep in, heading out on vacation or moving, others are hard at work in the garrison's Summer Hire Program.
Summer Hire is designed to give students ages 14-22 the opportunity to earn some cash and gain work experience over the summer break. This year the program started on June 18 and will go until July 28. Students are working all over the Wiesbaden military community in places ranging from the Wiesbaden Health Clinic to the Postal Service Center.
"I wanted to sign up for Summer Hire," said Kayla Hewitt, a seasoned Summer Hire employee who is working at the Wiesbaden Library. "I worked it last year and had a great time so I definitely wanted to do it again."
Hewitt said she is looking forward to spending her hard-earned money on some exciting trips after the program ends in July.
Jazmin Troxler, another Summer Hire worker who has only been in Germany for two months, said she thought the experience would be a good way to meet people, get to know the Wiesbaden community better and make some cash.
"I'm hoping to make some cash and gain some work experience before I go to the States," said Mark McLaren who is working at the Directorate of Plans, Analysis and Integration Office. McLaren, a graduate of Wiesbaden High School, said he chose to sign up for Summer Hire to prepare himself for what is awaiting him after the summer break.
"I have been volunteering at the Post Office for a while now," said fellow Summer Hire employee Nick Harris. "I enjoy the work and the people I work with. I'm glad to be getting paid -- this way I can try to get a PS3 or iPad."
Harris added that he hoped the work experience gained through the program would prepare him for future jobs.
Kelsey Thomas, a 16-year-old working in the Installation Access Control System Office, said he finds the program to be "really good. If I wasn't working, my summer plans would basically be going to the gym every day."
Thanks to the money he will be earning through Summer Hire, Thomas said he plans to buy himself new basketball equipment to be in top form for the next season.
Youths were welcomed on the first day by Dr. Robert Kandler, deputy to the commander of U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden, and representatives from various offices who described some of the important things the youths should keep in mind when working for the Department of Defense.
"What you are about to embark on is called a job," said Kandler, "and you will get a salary for that job. … Treat people the way you would want to be treated."
As the first work experience for many of those in the program, Kandler stressed the importance of professionalism, customer service and getting to work on time. "You represent the United States Army. Don't forget we're here to support Soldiers and their Families. … You're committing yourself to doing something. The time will go by quickly -- use it to learn."
Members of the garrison's Safety Office, Equal Employment Opportunity, Army Substance Abuse Counseling Service and other agencies were also on hand to advise the students about various workplace issues.
"Everyone in the office is a safety officer," said Roland Geib of the garrison's Safety Office. "If you identify any unsafe conditions, report it to your supervisor immediately."
The agency representatives also advised the Summer Hire workers to think about how they can use their work experience later in life on resumes. Establishing and maintaining a good reputation for hard work and diligence is a valuable asset, they were told.
"I look forward to seeing you in the workplace in the next six weeks," Kandler said. (Katrina Gluth, a senior in college, is a Summer Hire employee with the garrison's Public Affairs Office. Karl Weisel contributed to this story.)