The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is hiring teens as young as 14 years old to work this summer after near record-low unemployment is making it tough for many businesses to find workers.
"We are hiring as young as 14," said Sabra Reyes, Human Resources Director at the Santa Cruz Seaside Company.
Though the young teens will be able to work, and can make anywhere from $11 to $15 an hour, they will have some restrictions. They cannot work past 9 p.m. or any overtime but they can work in almost every guest-related position including games and food services.
"This is normally their first job so they’re so excited to learn the ropes, understand what it takes to be successful in the workplace and we’re excited to teach them," said Reyes.
The Boardwalk is not the only place struggling to fill in positions, many restaurant and clothing store owners say there is work, but not enough workers.
"This is the worst I’ve ever seen it," said Maria Sentry from The Hat Company of Santa Cruz. "I’ve never seen so many help signs, ever."
Sentry is just one of the many business with "help wanted" signs and she says that they are not only looking for seasonal positions to be filled, but long-term employments as well.
"I’ve never had this problem before, it’s never been this difficult to find quality help or any help for that matter," Sentry said. "I would love to pay top dollar for all of the people I want to hire. It’s just impossible. I’m a one woman shop."