First Jobs of NBC 5 Today: Deborah Ferguson the Target Cashier

The NBC 5 Today team spent the week sharing lessons learned from summer jobs.

Laura Harris went back to the soccer field.
Evan Anderson was a page at the library.
Samantha Davies waited and bused tables.
Larry Collins mastered all the toys at a toy store.

Deborah Ferguson went to Target at Preston Center in Dallas to take a crack at her old summer job. She discovered it was extinct. The job of touchkey professional had been replaced by scanners and bar codes.

"I'm assuming it's a cashier, something similar to that. Is that real? I don't know. We don't have it," Jared Youngblood, the store director tried to break it to her gently that the job of touch key professional was gone.

"I know stories from people who have been around Target for a minute, and that's all I know. I know it was gone when I started Target, but I heard it was very exciting," he said.

Deborah worked as a cashier while going to college and back then, it required 10-key proficiency. Cashiers or touch key professionals would enter the numbers with the right hand and bag with the left.

Today, scanners and bar codes replace the need for 10-key know how.

And, self-checkouts are sometimes preferred to people.

Yet, Youngblood, who opened the Preston Center store back in October, said people skills are still needed.

"We're really finding out what they want to do. It's real easy to hire somebody and stick 'em somewhere. For us, what we're really looking for is for someone to be passionate about something," he said. "If you're really passionate about style or beauty or electronic things, to be able to plug them in those situations where they can help guests and love what they do."

Youngblood has high school and college students on his team, and said the pay for part-time work is great.

"We start out at $12 an hour, but Target recently released that starting next month in June, so right around the corner, we'll start out at $13 an hour," he said.

Management internships are also available for college students and could lead to jobs after graduation.

Youngblood joined the Target team six years ago, first in asset protection, then human resources and now as the store director of the retailer's only concept store in Dallas-Fort Worth.

"Retail is exciting. It's different every single day," he said. "And people love the excitement and challenge of that."

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