Giving truth to Memphis youth
Middle College High School
Job searches for the youth seem more difficult than others.
A report published by the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program found that from 2000 to 2012 only 20.7 percent of those ages 16 to 19 were employed locally, compared to 27.5 percent nationally.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, during the summer of July 2013, the unemployment rate for those age 16 to 24 was 16.3 percent. The overall number of youth that was unemployed was 3.8 million.
But companies like Mitsubishi, Electrolux and especially KTG USA are bringing new jobs in this area for newly graduated teens to apply for.
KTG, which stands for Kruger Tissue Group, is a state of the art paper mill that has been in existence since World War II. KTG has just finished a major renovation at an estimated cost of 36 million dollars.
Fred Ceruti, the general manager of Kruger Tissue Group, explained how he came to work for the business.
“I’ve been working 16 years, traveled all over the country,” he said. “While working, I do hands on activities with my team, and I also have plans to save money for good causes, [as well as] bring my team together.”
Ceruti also explained that “a college degree or business management degree as well as experience in leadership” is necessary to work in his position.
But exactly how does KTG attract younger employees to their business?
“We speak with a lot of graduating students from the Boys & Girls Club, St. Jude (Children’s Research) Hospital,” Ceruti said, “Also I would say go to a trade school and get a college degree. And another degree to get would be a tech degree in a smaller industry.”
And if there are any worries about the paper industry, Ceruti certainly doesn’t have any. He described the industry’s future as “strong and bright.”
“It is still growing and it is a big and better future.”
A new generation of employees is considering the paper making industry for future employment. And as paper-making is taking on new technologies, this technological generation can add more enthusiasm and youth to an industry that has been around quite a while.
One of those young workers is Matthew Trice. Trice is 18-years-old. He graduated from White Station High School and he plans to attend the University of Memphis.
Trice said he sees his time at his current job as a great opportunity to learn some essential skills.
“I feel like it’s a good opportunity and a good experience for computer programming,” he said.
And for Trice, his current job is going to serve as a stepping-stone.
“I plan to have for years of experience, a four-year degree, a master’s in computer software, (to) work for Microsoft for 10 years or more, and have my own software business.