Trying to unite employers who have available summer jobs and paid internships with job-seeking high school and college students, the nonprofit Ormond Beach Community Foundation has launched a program called "Take this Job and Work It."
The name is a play of words off the 1970s hit country tune "Take This Job and Shove It," that was made famous by singer Johnny Paycheck.
The foundation's program is an online job bank that features a website where employers can register and post job and paid internship openings. Students can also register, review the postings and apply for those paid positions. The registrations are free. The hiring is done in private.
“Our goal is to get 100 students hired this summer. Right now we are trying to recruit employers to post positions for high school and college students and to get students to also register,” said Aida Spina, who is running the program for the foundation. “The splash page is open for registration and the website will go live in mid-April with the postings. We’re shooting for April 13.”
The program’s website is www.takethisjobandworkit.com. It was built by Zgraph Inc. in Daytona Beach.
Spina can be reached by email at OBCommunityFoundation@gmail.com or Spina457@gmail.com
Maureen France, owner of France & Company marketing firm, worked with graphic design artist Greg Hunter, owner of Argyle Agency, on the program's name and program logo.
“We wanted to come up with something catchy and not the same old summer internship program name,” France said. “It’s actually the opposite of the song of discouragement. The program is to be a good start for a career, the beginning and not the end.”
Dwight Selby, the owner/broker of Ormond Beach commercial real estate brokerage Selby Realty, came up with the idea to create the job bank a couple of years ago, but could not find a sponsoring agency at the time.
He then pitched the idea to foundation members last year. They not only embraced the idea, they elected him to serve as their board president. His term began in January.
“I had read an article a couple years ago how hard it was for high school students to find summer jobs. That struck a chord with me,” Selby said. “All the money I used to pay for college came from summer jobs. They were vital, critical to me. Every dollar a student makes in a summer job is a dollar less that a parent has to spend or for the student to incur more debt.”
The foundation was founded in 2012 by Ormond Beach Mayor Ed Kelley and the city's former mayors Fred Costello, Dave Hood and Carl Persis. The goal was to create a community-based organization to do things to better the community that government is not equipped or permitted to do.
Take This Job and Work It will initially focus on the Ormond Beach and Daytona Beach areas, but foundation members say they are not limiting who can register. The hope is to operate the program the year-round and expand it.
“If a student knows the process and is ready, they can easily go to our site, find and apply for a job," Spina said.
Robin King, president and CEO of CareerSource Flagler Volusia, the local regional workforce development board, said she is fully supportive of the foundation's project.
"High school and college students need the experience and businesses are the only ones who can provide the opportunities," King said. "I look forward to meeting with the organizers and seeing how we can support it. We will be getting calls soon from parents and students about summer jobs and this is one program we can direct them to."
While it's free to register, the foundation is offering sponsorships to help defray some costs. For a one-time fee of $1,000, sponsors names will be part of all promotional and marketing material and also allows sponsors to place advertisements on the program website.
Selby also sees the program helping to curb the “brain drain” that he says has been a chronic problem locally, where talented young people are leaving the area to pursue careers elsewhere because of the perceived lack of opportunities here.
“We educate our children and they go off to college and usually find work elsewhere in bigger cities.” Selby said. “Many students don’t even know what businesses are in the area. If they can get a local internship while pursuing a degree, they might be offered a job after graduation and move back here.”
Selby also noted that the percent of millennials, those born between the early 1980s and early 2000s, is lower in Ormond Beach than in the nation. He said the jobs bank program could help increase the number of younger residents by educating them on what local job opportunities are available.
“Having a younger population would help create a more sustainable community," Selby said.