I got my first real job at age 15 working for the Washington Department of Ecology picking up trash on the side of the road. It was a great job that paid really well for a 15 year old. I also stacked bails of hay before getting my first paying radio job during my sophomore year. According to a recent economic report, fewer teenage boys are working in the Mid Columbia than ever before.According to KNDU, a national report revealed that less than 40 percent of teenagers are working this summer (down from 70 percent 40 years ago). AND MOST OF THOSE ARE GIRLS! Since the peak of teen employment in the late 1980s, the number of boys with jobs has dropped 20 percent.

Only 3 percent of jobs in the Mid Columbia are filled by teens.

As my co-worker Greg Delange put it, jobs make you mature and help you grow up. He started working in the fourth grade because his parents' janitorial service needed help. He also worked in a pet store, mowed lawns and started working in radio at age 18.