Kirkland resident and mother of three, Lisa Oelsner, recently launched a new student employment platform called UrbanGigz. She's got great timing with all of these able bodied (and minded) students just getting out of school! UrbanGigz is a site where students can easily find local job opportunities and employers can locate students to get things accomplished. Think LinkedIn for the 14-24 year old set, but it's not just a job board-it's a place to learn what your strengths are and how to put together a resume, create a profile where you can save endorsements and recommendations from employers, explore job opportunites, and .......it's FREE.
UrbanGigz can be used for all types of age-appropriate employment-- neighborhood jobs (sitter, lawn mowing, nanny, etc), internships, non-profit, community service, or preparing for the corporate world. You can set alerts so you are notified as soon as a job matching your criteria gets posted. It could be an ongoing position or just a one-time task to earn some extra cash. Through the summer this service will also be free for employers to post job openings- need some filing done in the office? Putting together a presentation? Hiring waitstaff? What about allowing someone to job shadow you that's hoping to pursue your career path? This is all about helping students develop skills for future employment.
I love the idea of getting kids thinking and working. What a great way to start to build some life skills and a strong work ethic. Lisa shared an interesting article from the Wall Street Journal, that in part talks about, "... contemporary children have very little experience with the kinds of tasks that they'll have to perform as grown-ups. Children have increasingly little chance to practice even basic skills like cooking and caregiving. Contemporary adolescents and pre-adolescents often don't do much of anything except go to school. Even the paper route and the baby-sitting job have largely disappeared." I know I learned a lot of work and life lessons in those formative years and think it's cool UrbanGigz is giving our kids a tool to do that easily in 2012.
I asked Lisa (photo) about safety, of course, since she's dealing with children. UrbanGigz never exposes any personal info. And the information on UrbanGigz is not even searchable unless you are logged in. Students and employers can receive endorsements so you can know if others had a positive experience with that person. There is also a safety and best practices page (ie; if you're a 14 yr old, a parent should meet the family you are going to babysit for). Lisa has been talking to senators and local school districts to get the word out about UrbanGigz and there is a lot of enthusiasm and support so far. Pass this info along to your employer or teenager so they can make a profile and support, or be one of, our future superstars!
If you have questions about UrbanGigz, you can direct them here.