DENVER (CBS4) – After years of part-time employment opportunities being limited due to the coronavirus pandemic, many industries are still struggling to hire. It was even harder for teens to find work during the pandemic.
Amusement parks like Water World and Elitch Gardens are open and their teen workforces are back, too.
Elitch Gardens has given tons of Denver area teens their first jobs. Several are on staff working this season.
"It's such a good environment. We have great perks like free admission on their days off and free tickets for their family. We take care of them and embrace this fun environment," said Cindy Hann, Director of Marketing and Sales at Elitch Gardens.
Hann says her children also worked at Elitch Gardens when they were teens.
"They build a lot of self confidence. They're working and getting a career moving forward. It doesn't mean that job, but they're getting started and that experience," said Hann.
The city of Denver and Denver Public Schools are also working to help young people find jobs. City Council voted to approve an agreement between the city and DPS for $600,000 to help nearly 200 young people gain valuable work experience.
Taylor Cullom began working at Elitch Gardens in 2014. She was a high school junior at the time, and she's worked her way up in the company.
"I had applied to a couple fast food restaurants, and they just weren't looking for that at the time. When I applied here, there was never an issue at all. No one ever questioned how much experience I had, or if I had enough life experience to be able to be here," said Collum.
The once teen Elitch worker is now helping today's youth workers find their way.
"I have the opportunity now to give them the same opportunity that I had. My supervisors and leaders immediately took me in," said Collum.
LINK: Elitch Gardens
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