For high school students and recent high school grads, it’s particularly difficult to find their first job because people are looking for experience. In addition to lack of experience, most teens are only able to work limited hours. Mixed with competition from more experienced adults that are looking for second jobs to assist with their living and seniors needing to supplement their retirement, it’s contributing to only 34% of teens across the nation scoring a job summer.

Summer jobs for teens allow them to build skills that they can later use down the road. While more and more teens are supplementing work for school, the inability for them to find work has to potential to hurt them down the road. Summer jobs provide young people with the opportunity to explore career choices, discover their personal interest and strengths (as well as weaknesses), foster skills, establish professional networks, learn about work culture, administer responsibility, and earn a paycheck. Not only do summer jobs assist with both short- and long-term career success, it increases the likelihood that teens will graduate from high school.

By 2025, around 65 percent of all jobs will require some postsecondary education, certification, or training. The more youths that are able to obtain a summer job contributes to them graduating from high school to later earn additional credentials, thus, having the skills and experience to get a job in the global workforce. Entrepreneurs can help young people obtain these opportunities and expand the job market by developing summer youth employment programs.

In 2015, JP Morgan Chase funded summer youth employment programs in 15 different cities, helping provide more than 3,200 youths with a job and other work-related opportunities. The programs were organized by a combination of private nonprofit organizations and public entities, including school districts, city governments, and workforce investment boards. Many communities seek the ability to implement summer youth work programs, however, they are not always able to obtain enough funding. Public funding for summer jobs did increase by 10 percent between 2014 and 2015, yet, the demand outweighed the supply – only 38 percent of youth applicants received jobs.

It is critical for programs to be developed for young people to have access to summer jobs. Not only do summer jobs contribute to the development of vital skills for career success, they increase earnings, and improve school attendance. This results in a decline in school dropouts, less involvement in juvenile and criminal justice systems, and a reduction in poverty. By combining the efforts of the public, private, and corporate sectors, young people can score a summer job and develop these positive skills and traits, and the employment rate is improved in the long run.