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Youth employment boosts as businesses face hiring hardships

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CAMPBELL COUNTY, Va. – C&C Piping and Fabrication in Altavista is looking to fuse a situation facing many industries.

“We’ve had some people leave that can go find better jobs because everywhere, obviously, is hiring right now,” said foreman and welder James Higginbotham.

He said with places reopening from the pandemic, people are looking to earn more money, so they’re turning to a younger crowd to fill their void.

“A lot of young guys are coming in that never had the work experience, and now they’re getting to come somewhere and make pretty decent money,” said Higginbotham.

Nineteen-year-old Tanner Cox is one of them. He started working part-time eight months ago.

“It gives young kids a great advantage as far as getting in the doors anywhere,” said Cox.

He’s part of a nationwide trend, as the unemployment rate for teens 16-to-19 dropped to 9.6% in May.

“There’s definitely evidence to suggest youth are filling a lot of positions right now, that might have otherwise gone to older adults,” said Tim Saunders, who tracks labor market data with Virginia Career Works.

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