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Long Island website matches young workers with odd jobs

Ian Lavender, a student at North Shore High

Ian Lavender, a student at North Shore High School, does yardwork for Margarete Becker and Jeff Norwood of Glenwood Landing, July 11, 2014. (Credit: Nicole Horton)

The idea came to Tom Cerna of Glenwood Landing last summer, when he was about to leave for vacation. The girl he usually paid to water his plants was going away the very same week, leaving him in the lurch.

Wouldn't it be great, he thought, if I could post the job on a website and find another local kid willing to earn a few bucks? So Cerna launched Youthire.com.

Now, people in need of help weeding lawns, cleaning out a garage, watering plants, walking pets or more can post odd jobs.

Margarete Becker and Jeff Norwood of Glenwood Landing hired Ian Lavender, 17, a senior at North Shore High School, to help weed and rake their yard. "I hope that more people post jobs on the website so more kids can get paid," Lavender says. He signed on for eight hours of yard work; his dad dropped him off to make sure he felt comfortable with the situation.

Here's how Youthire works: "Job Providers" post job opportunities for free. Registered "Youth Hires" ages 16 to 26 respond for free. The employer pays Youthire by credit card. Cerna keeps 15 percent and credits the remainder electronically to the employee's bank account. For instance, if a job pays $10 an hour, Cerna keeps $1.50 and the youth gets $8.50.

The site is just rolling out with a limited number of jobs, focusing first on Sea Cliff, Brookville, Glen Cove, Glenwood Landing and Roslyn Harbor.

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