CINCINNATI -- While some teens go home after school, 14-year-old Jy'Martia Blackmon is cleaning away. He's snagged several jobs through Just Hire Me, a web site -- and now an app -- focused on helping teens 14-18 find jobs appropriate for their age and skill level.
"Fourteen is time to get a job," Blackmon said. "Cleaning carpets, getting a lot of money -- can't ask for nothing more."
Teens who use Just Hire Me start off making minimum wage for tasks such as cleaning carpets and building yard signs for City Council candidates, but can earn raises by completing courses that teach skills such as interview etiquette, resume-building and even better penmanship. Additionally, while they work, their parents can track them to know exactly where they are.
"Our ultimate goal is to make sure all of our teens have a long-term savings account such as a 401K account," Just Hire Me CEO Lawrence Jones said.
His interest in helping teenagers find work stems from Cincinnati's status as the American city with the second-highest rate of childhood poverty. Teaching young people skills that will make them employable and financially responsible throughout their lives could change that.
"We want to do what we can to disrupt," he said. "Studies have shown that when teens have the ability to work and earn money at an earlier age, they turn out to be better employees."