Summer programs offer work experience to Misawa students
May 14, 2006
MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan — Their wallets won’t get fat but students at this northern Japan base can beef up their résumés and gain some valuable work experience through two summer employment programs here.
The summer-hire program is for students age 14 to 23. They’ll be paid $5 an hour for 20 hours of work per week, from June 26 to Aug. 8. That’s $800 for 8 weeks. From 80 to 100 positions are available, from mowing lawns to editing pages for the base newspaper, said Naoko Miura, Civilian Personnel Office personnel staffing specialist.
Though the pay is slightly below the federal minimum wage of $5.15 per hour, Miura said the summer hire program offers students unique employment.
“They get to work in an environment that their parents work in,” she said. “And they do get credit for federal employment.”
Jobs are available at the hospital, in services, civil engineering, and other Air Force agencies. The 35th Fighter Wing funds the program, which is open to family members of servicemembers and Department of Defense civilians. The first application cut-off is Friday.
Applications can be turned in to the Edgren High School guidance counselor, or to the Civilian Personnel Office in Room 130 in the Torii Building from 2:45-4 p.m. Most U.S. military bases throughout the Pacific have similar summer-hire programs. Students should check with civilian personnel or human resources.
The Navy at Misawa also has five paid summer jobs available for students ages 14 to 21. The jobs are in customer service, ground maintenance, clerical work and public affairs, said Yumiko Sasaki, Human Resources Office placement technician. The Navy jobs also pay $5 per hour but some are full time. Application deadline is May 22.
Capt. John Redfield, Misawa base spokesman, said the Defense Department has mandated that all overseas bases in Japan and South Korea pay $5 an hour for the summer-hire program. Base officials said they were unsure why the pay was below the federal minimum wage but that it’s been that amount for many years. U.S. Forces Japan officials referred all questions back to the Misawa Civilian Personnel Office.
“In this day and age of waning budgets, I think it’s great we can even do a program,” Redfield said.
For students who miss the summer-hire deadline or are too young to qualify, Misawa’s Family Support Center has the Volunteen Program. Thirty positions are available, including at the dental clinic, hospital lab, University of Maryland University College, Pets Are Worth Saving (PAWS), Education and Development Intervention Services (EDIS), Family Support Center and other agencies, according to Lydia Leasher, FSC community readiness technician. The program is open to teenagers entering seventh to 12th grades. The commitment is 10 to 20 hours per week from June 26 to Aug. 18.
“It’s great for them to get the work experience,” Leasher said. “We will write them a letter of recommendation that they can use for referencing.”
Applications will be accepted through May 23. Volunteers are required to attend an orientation June 20 about what to expect in the workplace, what to wear, how to write a résumé and other job tips. The “mini-course” also is open to summer-hire participants. The Family Support Center is looking for more organizations to participate in the Volunteen Program. Call the center at DSN 226-4735 for more information.