Jake Brock greets a potential employer, smiles, shakes hands and talks about his education and experiences. It’s a job interviewing process he went through many times on Thursday, March 3, in the Craig Norris Training Room at the IowaWORKS job center at 1801A E. Kimberly Road, Davenport. “It’s been going real good. I’ve been having […]
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Jake Brock greets a potential employer, smiles, shakes hands and talks about his education and experiences.
It’s a job interviewing process he went through many times on Thursday, March 3, in the Craig Norris Training Room at the IowaWORKS job center at 1801A E. Kimberly Road, Davenport.
“It’s been going real good. I’ve been having a lot of good conversations,” Mr. Brock, a native of Montrose, Georgia, said in between interviews with several area business representatives.
While this might sound like a fairly typical interview day at IowaWORKS, this particular day and event were anything but typical.
For about three hours on Thursday, IowaWORKS hosted a private reverse hiring event for members of the Quad City Steamwheelers indoor football team. Representatives from numerous area businesses and organizations came in and conducted job interviews with about 30 members of the football team.
Jamie McLaughlin, business services consultant at IowaWORKS, said this was a first-time reverse job-hiring event held for a local sports team. In addition to helping the players get jobs in the community, one of the other top goals is to perhaps convince them to make the Quad Cities their home.
“They might get a career opportunity in the Quad Cities and decide to stay here,” she said.
The Steamwheelers’ players could be great additions to the community because many of them have college or university degrees in medical, personal training, sales, human resources or management fields, according to information from IowaWORKS.
In the case of Mr. Brock, who plays center and guard for the Steamwheelers, he has a bachelor’s degree in sports management and a master’s degree in sports administration from Reinhardt University in Waleska, Georgia.
“I’m looking for something part-time right now. … It’s possible. I might stay here,” added Mr. Brock.
Several of the business reps at the hiring event said they were hopeful of offering jobs to the football players.
Beverly Sammon, a bus driver and representative for Durham School Services, participated in the event in hopes of attracting the players to become school bus drivers in the Quad Cities.
“Do you know how many drivers we are down right now? We need at least 20 drivers,” Ms. Sammon said.
Ms. Sammon added that Durham understands that the football players can’t work traditional eight-hour shifts with their practice and game schedules. But she believes some can become “casual drivers” and work a few hours, perhaps driving students to activities, such as football games.
“If they don’t have a CDL (commercial driver’s license), we can bring them in and train them for the CDL,” she added.
Thursday’s hiring event brought in reps from a variety of businesses and industries. In addition to Durham School Services, others represented were: Electronic Engineering in Davenport, Hy-Vee, Family Resources, Rock Island-Milan Schools, Genesis Health and many others.
Several players said they were happy with the hiring event and appreciated that the companies and organizations are willing to work around their schedules with the football team. (The Steamwheelers, a member of the Indoor Football League, will have regular season games from March to July. The first game of the season is March 13 in Sioux Falls, S.D.)
“I’m just looking for an opportunity here. I’m trying to make a few extra dollars,” said Darreon “DJ” Jackson, who hopes to become a safety on the team. Mr. Jackson is a graduate of Arkansas State University with a bachelor’s degree in communications.
Ms. McLaughlin said she was also pleased with Thursday’s hiring event. And it’s possible the workforce agency could plan similar events for other local teams in the future.
“We’re always open to anything that’s going to help employers and job-seekers,” she said. “In the last two years, we’ve really had to think outside the box.”