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INDIANAPOLIS – Thousands of Hoosier teens are looking for work as the school year wraps up. While employers are eager to hire, there are new requirements about to take effect statewide. Starting July 1, 2021, schools will no longer issue work permits.

“Lifeguarding is probably one of the best jobs for a teenager,” said Colin Parker. It’s his second summer working as a lifeguard at The Jewish Community Center (JCC).

As a high school junior, he’s happy to be learning life-long skills while also, earning some cash.  However, hiring teens like Parker hasn’t been easy this year according to Nicole Hagemeyer, the Director of Aquatics.

“We’re certainly looking to fill about 25 to 30 more positions for our waterpark this summer and primarily those are teens or young adults,” Hagemeyer explained.

She’s hoping a new state program will help. The Indiana Department of Labor’s Bureau of Youth Employment is rolling out a new Youth Employment System, also known as YES. Schools are no longer responsible for issuing work permits and no longer have to track or register employees younger than 18-years-old.

It’s now all up to the employers.  Hagemeyer is hopeful this will streamline the process.

“For example, right now, I have three high school students that would have liked to started working yesterday, but we’re still waiting for the school’s administrations offices to get their work permits returned to us,” said Hagemeyer.

The change was made during the state legislative session.

Employers who have five or more teen employees will be required to register on the new online platform. Failure to do so could result in $400 penalties, per infraction.

“The best part of it is, it’s so interactive for the employers and very responsive and a robust program. All can simply be done on their cell phone at work,” said Michael Myers, the Director of the Bureau of Youth Employment, “Now they can interview, and they can make the decision to hire and they can register in less than two minutes and have that employee on the line working right then and there.”

That speedy process is what Hagemeyer is looking forward to as they wait for more applications to roll in.

“I think it’s going to be a great thing,” she said, “It will help our hiring to expedite our hiring process here at The JCC, especially since we hire so many teens.”

Employers are able to create accounts and test-drive the system now before the law goes into effect July 1.  Again, this is for employers who employ five or more workers younger than 18-years-old. To learn more, click here.

The Jewish Community Center is looking to hire multiple teens or young adults right now. If you’re interested in working there, click here for more information.