After-school or summer jobs offer teens valuable life experience. They boost time-management and communication skills, financial responsibility, and can even spark career discovery.

After-school or summer jobs offer teens valuable life experience. They boost time-management and communication skills, financial responsibility, and can even spark career discovery.

If your son or daughter is scouting for year-round or seasonal employment or volunteer opportunities, be sure to include the library's Just for Teens: Community Job Fair on the calendar.

Scheduled Saturday, April 21 from 2-5 p.m. at Old Worthington Library, 820 High St., the event will bring Graeter's, Marcus Crosswoods Cinema, Worthington Parks & Recreation, Subway and Cat Welfare Association and other businesses and community groups together for a one-stop shop.

Events like this are important, especially for teens. The recession and high-unemployment rate has everyone clamoring to find work in a crowded labor market, and adults are now competing for part-time jobs normally filled by teens.

Automation has also eliminated many after-school, weekend and summer jobs normally held by first-time workers as computerized equipment has helped companies trim positions.

According to statistics from the U.S. Labor Department, the jobless rate for 16- to 19-year-olds climbed from 23.2 to 23.8 percent in February. To put those numbers in perspective, in the mid-2000s, the teen jobless rate was 14-18 percent; in the late 1990s and early 2000s, it was 15 percent or lower.

Teens looking for jobs should not miss the library's Community Job Fair.

Depending on after-school commitments and other priorities, sometimes volunteering is a more realistic option for teens and is just as valuable a learning experience as holding down a job. In addition to promoting self-confidence and a sense of community, volunteering looks great on college and job applications. Teens who want to volunteer at the library must attend a Volunteen orientation next month.

Summer Volunteens will help participants register for the 2012 Summer Reading League and hand out prizes. They will also help with other library programs and projects as needed.

A complete list of orientation sessions can be found on the library's website, worthingtonlibraries.org/calendar.