CMC students find place in work force

Hitting the books as well as the time clock

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— The students at Colorado Mountain College are doing more than just studying these days most of them, based on the results of a recent study, are spending a large chunk of their time in the Steamboat Springs work force.

Based on studies completed every year since 1993 as part of resort management classes taught by Professor Terry Hunter, about 80 percent of the students who attend CMC also work. Almost 30 percent of those students work full-time jobs in addition to their coursework.

While the study is not scientific and does not exclude students who may only be taking one class at the college, Hunter said the statistics are so consistent he thinks the 130 respondents likely represent an accurate cross-section of the students at the school.

Every year since 1993, the study has revealed about 80 percent of the students at the college have jobs.

The highest percentage of students polled in the years from 1993 to the present with jobs was 83 percent, while the lowest was 78 percent.

That lack of significant discrepancies leads Hunter to believe the study has produced reliable figures.

Most of the jobs students get are located off-campus, though the college does offer an on-campus work-study program, Hunter said.

The study was completed by students in Hunter's Quality Assurance Management class.

The students spread out across campus to survey the community, making sure to finish before 6 p.m. so as not to get responses from night students who would more likely work during the day.

Although there are only 461 full-time, degree-seeking students out of a student body of about 1,500 who take classes at the college, Hunter said most of the students surveyed are likely the full-time students.

Because the surveys are not taken at night, it would be less likely to include members of the public who take only one class at the college, Hunter said.

"Most of the students I know work at least one job," Hunter said. "They study, work, ski and try to get it all done in what probably makes for a pretty long day."

One of those students who works and studies, both on full-time schedules, is Daniel Kucher, a resident adviser at the college and an employee at Steamboat Log Design.

On Mondays and Wednesdays, Kucher goes to class at 8 a.m., then works from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., goes back to class from 1 to 2:30 p.m., works again from 3 to 5 p.m. and attends a third class from 6 to 9 p.m.

But the evening isn't over until Kucher finishes his R.A. duties from 10 p.m. to midnight.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, Kucher works at the furniture store, at which he logs about 10 to 20 hours a week.

"Most definitely, the dorms are a huge resource for supplying the city's seasonal employees," Kucher said.

And the business community seems to be taking advantage of the large population of potential employees at the college.

"It certainly is a good addition for our community to be able to have the resort management program and that portion of the work force," said Sandy Evans-Hall, the executive vice president of the Chamber Resort Association.

Hunter also noted that more students seem to be taking year-round jobs than in the past, based on the results of surveys taken in the past.

In 1993, for instance, 34 percent of the students surveyed had year-round jobs, while in 2001 that number had jumped to 58 percent.

He also said more students are working in the food and beverage industry, while less are working in the lodging industry.

Hunter said taking surveys like the work force survey helps students understand the importance of collecting information in resort marketing enterprises.

Kucher is in the resort management program and hopes to work in a resort town when he graduates.

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