You won't find Washington County teenagers Anthony Kimbrough, Kassandra McLaughlin or Emily Ryan lounging around this summer playing video games or catching up on sleep.
The three are among the 130 teenagers working through the Washington County Department of Job and Family Services' Summer Youth Employment program.
"It helps a lot...it's nice to have the money to pay the bills," said McLaughlin, 18, of Marietta.
ASHLEY RITTENHOUSE The Marietta Times
Kassandra McLaughlin, of Marietta, works on a cash register at Bar-B-Cutie on Pike Street in Marietta. This is her third summer working there under the Summer Youth Employment program.
The teenagers say in addition to getting paychecks they're also learning valuable skills and lessons that they'll be able to use throughout life.
This is McLaughlin's third summer working at Bar-B-Cutie on Pike Street in Marietta through the program.
She wears many hats there, taking orders, getting customers drink refills or whatever else they may need and even cooking and doing dishes.
"It's usually lunch time by the time I get here and we get pretty steady," McLaughlin said. "Usually our lunch is real busy from 11:30 (a.m.) to 1:30 (p.m.). Sometimes it's hard. Sometimes we're running our butts off and can't even get caught up."
"It's a lot harder than school," she added. "School is easy, you listen to people talk all day."
She said when things slow down a bit after lunch she helps out with the dishes and she also uses that time to restock food, sauces, ice and whatever else is needed.
McLaughlin usually works at the restaurant until about 7 p.m., meaning she's there for the dinner crowd, too.
"If we're shorthanded in the kitchen I'll go back and help them cook," she said. "Sometimes there are two cooks and four of us girls out front."
McLaughlin said the job has enabled her to sharpen her communication skills, but she has also gained some other important tools.
"I couldn't cook before so that helped a little bit with my cooking skills at home and I can count money in my head like that now," she said.
Restaurant owner Shane Stotts said he really likes the work program. He said there are currently three people working there under the program.
"It helps us employ some extra people through the summer," he said.
Marietta High School junior Anthony Kimbrough is participating in the program for the first time this summer. He is working at Ketel1 TeamWear on Putnam Street in Marietta doing screen printing, something he had never done before.
"I did a week of training and they let me go on my own," said Kimbrough, 17. "It's pretty easy when you get used to everything. It just takes a while to get in the groove of making sure everything's lined up."
Kimbrough works at the shop 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. He said he spends all of his time making shirts and cleaning screens to be used in the screen printing process.
"We do a lot of local soccer team shirts and Williamstown softball shirts and we just finished the Wall of Sound (Marietta High School band) shirts," he said.
Kimbrough said he chose to work at Ketel1 because he likes sports. He is the quarterback for Marietta High School's varsity football team.
He said he doesn't mind getting up early to go to work because if it weren't for that, he'd be getting up even earlier to go to football practice.
"Instead of getting up at 8 (a.m.) every day and going to work I'd have to get up at 7 and go to football," Kimbrough said. "I get off at 4, go home and just rest up for football at 5."
He said the cycle wore him out at first but now he's used to it.
Kimbrough said he likes working at Ketel1 better than going to school because he's doing hands-on work rather than bookwork.
"It's pretty fun," he said. "You don't always have to rely on your parents to give you gas money and you have more privileges. I'm learning to save my money to reward myself later on with something"
Business owner Brian Ketelsen said this is his third year hiring teenagers under the program.
"It helps me out in that I can get workers that don't count against me as far as wages go," he said. "We give them a paycheck but Job and Family Services pays us back."
Waterford resident Emily Ryan, 18, is working in the City of Marietta's development department doing primarily data entry.
She has been working on putting information into a computer related to surveys of city sidewalks.
"If it wasn't for her it probably wouldn't get done because we have our other jobs to do," said Cheyenne Oaks, the city's development specialist.
Ryan said this is her third year participating in the program.
"I worked for Fort Frye High School the first time and then Waterford Elementary School," she said.
Ryan added that someone at Job and Family Services asked her if she would be interested in the job with the city.
"I'm taking the executive administrative assistant (program) at Washington State Community College so she thought I might be able to help them since I'm doing the office stuff anyway," Ryan said.
Oaks said by the time Ryan leaves the office in August the project she's working on should be done.
"There are about 900 maps alone I have to put into the computer and there are even more surveys to put in," Ryan said.
Ryan added that she appreciates having a job because the money helps pay for books she'll need while attending Washington State Community College in the fall.
"Since I'm going to college that stuff's expensive," she said.
Those participating in the program include county residents ages 16 to 18 with household income under 200 percent of the federal poverty level. They can work up to 32 hours a week, earning $7.70 per hour.
Candy Nelson, a supervisor at Job and Family Services, said those participating in the program are spread out throughout the county.
She said salaries are being funded with $150,000 in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) money provided by the agency, as well as $183,000 in state funds.
"It teaches them responsibility about showing up for work, being on time, those kinds of things," Nelson said. "A lot of kids get out of school and don't understand you have to be to work on time. It's good for the community and it keeps some kids out of trouble and they have money for school clothes."