Steamboat Springs Renee Patterson-Gaerlan remembers that when she was a girl growing up in Routt County, her first jobs as a pre-teen were baby-sitting for neighborhood families.
Now a mother who recently has returned to her hometown, Patterson-Gaerlan wants to pay it forward by organizing a networking event to connect teens looking for work and families looking for a little extra help.
Teens looking for summer jobs and families with youngsters that need baby-sitting, yard work or help around the house are welcome at the free event from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday in the Steamboat Springs High School commons area.
“I thought now would be a great time because with the job market, teens would be at the bottom of the totem pole,” said Patterson-Gaerlan, who also runs networking site www.steamboatmom.com.
A driven woman who worked as the director of corporate affairs and human resources for Independent Capital Management/AIG, Patterson-Gaerlan understands that hard work can get you places. And it’s never to early for young students to start developing a work ethic through summer and odd jobs.
“I think it builds confidence,” she said. “Particularly if kids can learn how to market themselves at a young age, especially now with this economy, it helps to have a leg up.”
She said the setup would be much like a speed-dating event, in which families will have a few minutes to chat with teens.
Patterson-Gaerlan said the networking also could help empower families looking for services.
“It’s also an opportunity for young families who maybe can’t afford $20 an hour for a baby sitter,” she said.
She said teens interested in summer jobs should arrive about 15 minutes early, and it’s recommended they bring their parents. Families looking for baby sitters also might want to bring their children to see if a potential sitter could be a good fit.
“The way this community is, it’s a great way to connect people,” Patterson-Gaerlan said.
— To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email ninglis@SteamboatToday.com