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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Friday, June 14, 2024

State Street business may offer limited jobs

As UW-Madison students return from spring break, the school year draws to an end and summer nears, many students remaining in Madison may face limited job opportunities on State Street.  




Whether it is by personal choice or because of year-long apartment leases, the number of students who remain living near campus often exceeds the number of nearby available jobs.  




Although the nation is currently in a recession and many companies are facing effects following Sept. 11, businesses in the State Street area are doing well and the availability of jobs is not dependent on these factors, according to Susan Schmitz, president of Downtown Madison Inc. Schmitz said that a busy holiday season proved that Madison's commerce is surviving. 




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\The State Street merchants'the majority of them'had the best holiday season they've ever had; business is really good,"" Schmitz said. ""I think that they're lucky that things seem to be plugging along pretty well,"" she added. 




However, despite the fact that local businesses have seen few aftereffects of Sept. 11, summer job opportunities still pose a problem, as there are few openings and oftentimes, business owners in the area do not hire specifically for the summer months. 




Ross Johnson, manager of State Street Brats, 603 State St., said his business operates in this manner. 




""We do not hire specifically for the summer because we need a large percentage of experienced staff because right after summer we head right into football season and the beginning of school and homecoming,"" Johnson said. ""That is why we really only take people who are going to be here through the fall."" 




Johnson said that hiring is an ongoing process for State Street Brats and generally a sufficient amount of current employees remain in town over the summer. 




Mark Dunbar, regional manager of Steve & Barry's, 636 State St., said he begins hiring for the summer in mid-April and employs anywhere from five to 15 people for the summer. 




""We prefer to hire people for the summer if they're going to be around for the fall,"" Dunbar said. ""We look at people based on their availability. ... If someone's going to be here for the entire summer, especially during peak times, as long as they can work those hours, those are the kind of people that we're looking for."" 




John Hutchison, manager of Fontana Sports Specialties, 251 State St., said he will be hiring a few employees for the summer as well, which are limited to the number of current employees remaining in Madison for the summer. 




""This year it seems like there are [currently-employed] students that are staying around this summer,"" Hutchison said.  




Johnson credits the location of State Street for its strong economic backbone during these difficult times. 




""Our business is doing well, but then again, we're in Madison, which is essentially a very recession-insulated town, and where we are located'between the University and the Capitol here on State Street'[is beneficial],"" Johnson said. ""People are still going to college,and the state government is still up and running so we have felt little problems.\

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