Letter To The Editor: Teenage Opportunities To Save Our Businesses


Teenage Opportunities To Save Our Businesses

by Joe Jack Wallace

It has been nearly 50 years since I was hired into my first real job with a paycheck.  It was the summer of 1973 and the job was at Jimmy’s Drive Inn in Sturgis, Kentucky where I earned a whopping 75 cents per hour and all I wanted to eat.

I learned many valuable life lessons there including showing up on time, being groomed appropriately to work with the public and budgeting my earnings for important things like gas, records and an occasional trip to the Broadview drive-in theater. The experience helped me learn the soft skills needed as a platform for life and work.

Today’s teenagers have an opportunity for summer jobs that will teach them the same skills plus, with the much-discussed worker shortage, the teenagers who answer this call can literally help local small businesses get through the temporary worker shortage.  Many things contribute to the worker shortage like enhanced unemployment benefits, slow processing of unemployment claims, insufficient daycare options and school closings.  These problems will eventually stabilize and life will get back to pre-pandemic days but this combination of disruptive things has created a golden opportunity for enterprising teenagers.

Teenagers have always wanted to “change the world”.  This year’s high school graduates have an opportunity to positively change the economies of the places they live by stepping up to take the jobs that adults are unwilling or unable to fill at this time.

So, come on young people, rise to the occasion as young people often do by taking the jobs that desperately need to be filled. You will be better off in life for doing so and you will make your hometowns better too.



  1. Well said.
    Well intentioned.
    I hope Joe’s words produce tangible results.

    Hard Jobs are often entry-level jobs, that only family immigrant labor will do. This is unackowledged by many……because they are white nationalists seeing US immigrants doing jobs most Americans won’t do. Do they have a solution? No. No they don’t. They just want to RANT. Their ancestors did those jobs though. They were family immigrants, new to the US, and they did not ask for work permits first before they arrived and did those jobs either.

    It’s always been like this in America, which is a land of immigrants.

    Who do you think chopped trees, all day, every day, 7-days a week, to plant fields?
    To clear the US so we could become a farming nation?
    Hardworking Scottish, German, Polish and English family immigrants.

    In the early 1800’s, there were no railroads, there were canals and canal boats.
    Who was going to dig in the mud and do that dirty work?
    Hardworking Irish family immigrants filled in and did.

    In the old West, the railroad needed to get through the Rocky Mountains.
    Who was going to do that back-breaking job?
    Hardworking Chinese family immigrants filled in and did.

    In today’s economy, new shingle roofs, and landscaping jobs with decks are everywhere.
    Who is going to do that back-breaking job?
    Hardworking Hispanic family immigrants fill in and do that work.

    Maybe TEENAGERS will fill in and do these jobs, like Joe Wallace is pining for.

    But the FACT is,
    Hardworking Family Immigrants do the entry-level jobs and become US citizens.
    And the country became stronger. It IS GOOD FOR BUSINESS, and GOOD FOR THE COUNTRY.
    “They’re taking our jobs!!”
    That statement is a lie. Joe Wallace is pointing that out in this column.

    I don’t know what to do to with white nationalist racists who pretend they were never immigrants once too.

    America is not a racist country. We can always benefit from remembering that racism is a sin and a vice of the ignorant, though.


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