Dreaming about hiring young adults

Roughly 45% of young adults between the ages of 18-24 are currently jobless. That doesn’t mean they all want jobs. Officially, the jobless rate is a little over 16% which means that roughly 30% of young adults aren’t looking for a job for a variety of reasons. (In school, don’t need to work, ineligible to work, incarcerated, don’t want to work, etc.)

To me, 45% of 18-24 year olds not working is a problem. That’s bad news for young adults any way you slice it.

And where I see bad news I long to see the impact of Good News.

And I think this is a problem the collective “we of youth ministry” could make a dent in.

Is it impossible to think of your ministry or small business intentionally hiring 2-3 young adults this summer? Not at all.

Here’s are some ideas I suggested 12 months ago on the Youth Specialties blog. They are just as plausible today as a year ago:

A quick resource assessment will likely reveal that your church may be prepared to provide some good news to the students in your youth group.

    • You have access to the business community.
    • You likely have access to a building, largely left empty during business hours during the summer months.
    • You likely already have adults in your church who are ministering to 15-19 year olds, are passionate, and desire to be a practical resource for them.
    • You already love 15-19 year olds and want to reach more.
    • Your community has a virtually unlimited supply of children in need of free or affordable childcare.

By now, you’ve put it all together. One solution to the employment crisis of teenagers in your community could be for you to hire them.

Summer employment that provides a simple child care service is just one quick idea. 30 minutes with your team and I bet you could brainstorm 5 more ideas.

My own personal dream for my business? Both The Youth Cartel and McLane Creative are at places where our ability to grow is directly tied to hiring people. I’m trying to figure out ways to hire young adults to help me grow my business. Yes, I want to grow these businesses… But I also want how I grow these businesses in a way that reflects this value. It’s not the easiest way to grow. It’s not the most profitable. But it’s the way of growing I aspire towards.






4 responses to “Dreaming about hiring young adults”

  1. Theresa Mazza Avatar

    Adam thanks for pushing us to hire young. In my personal experience I’ve found that many people in this age group don’t need as many hours, so you can hire more people and have a bigger team. I’ve also found that this age group wants community. They don’t just want to work for money, they want to work and be part of a family. When you are able to provide community you’ve done more than gained employees, you get the chance to mentor, to learn, and to be part of the big picture!

    1. Adam McLane Avatar

      Love this comment. What are ways you’ve taken this dream to reality? 

      1. Theresa Avatar

        +scholarship/intern programs for this age group supported by the local church I served or organization. example – hire those who have aged out of your high school group as interns on a scholarship program. I’ve had teams of 2-5 interns earning scholarships that come out of a scholarship fund or out of our youth budget. 100% of these students have continued to follow the call of youth ministry.

        +VBS or summer camp/my former church started hiring teens in middle school to help run VBS. They don’t earn money those first few summers, but as they get older if they return to summer camp/vbs to serve, they can earn more money and gain responsibility. This has given our high school students a reason to come home for the summer.

        +while running a drop in youth center over 50% of our staff were in this age group. I could hire more students by allowing students to use our facility to live out their own business ventures. I’ve had student run skate camps, run concerts, art camps, and song writing clinics. I had the space and the time to help them with their business plan. All they had to do was show me their plan, promote, and run the event. Win Win!!! 

  2. Andy Gill Avatar


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