Start-up helps teens find jobs

Original post by  WENDY LEE via Star Tibune

Rock Your Block is developing an app that will allow teens to apply for work in their neighborhoods and be reviewed on their job performance.

In a tight job market, it’s not easy to be a teen.

Inexperience and youth have made it difficult for teens to land extra cash at the mall, when older laid-off workers are competing for the same jobs.

Rock Your Block LLC hopes to level the playing field. The Minneapolis-based start-up is developing an online and mobile app to link teenage job seekers with neighborhood employers.

The idea came to founder Sarah Young two years ago when she was a senior at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. There was résumé website LinkedIn and job listings for adults. But she saw few options for teens searching for work.

“The youth are so much more technology literate. Why is there no service?” Young said. “I thought about what I was like when I was a kid. Had I had a service like this, I would have been online all the time, looking at opportunities around me, versus going door to door.”

Rock Your Block is for teens ages 13 to 17. To apply for job listings, teens will need to pay a $45 annual fee and list a sponsor, whether it be a parent or a community group like the YMCA.

Rock Your Block does not charge neighbors to post jobs, but there will be a fee for companies that want to hire teens. All job posters will undergo a background check, Young said. Jobs can be chores around a neighborhood, such as yard work, running errands or dog walking.