If you’ve ever worked in construction, agriculture, manufacturing or any other skilled trade, then you’re likely familiar with the struggle that companies have finding workers. I say this as someone who spent her formative years helping sweep and clean my dad’s construction sites, usually for the grand payment of a Papa Joe burger.
Fast forward to now, and skilled trades still face a worker shortage. Meanwhile, the related industries offer great wages and cool opportunities that can often be overlooked. This is where Bend startup GoGetter comes in. “GoGetter is an online community that serves people, businesses and organizations involved in the skilled trades,” says CEO Jared Wise.
At its core, GoGetter is a LinkedIn for skilled trades workers. While there are a lot of jobs boards targeted various blue collar industries, Jared notes that the benefit of GoGetter (much like LinkedIn) is that it allows employers to hunt for talent as well giving job seekers the chance to look.
From FBI to entrepreneur
Wise was in business school during 9/11 – and the event spurred him to join the FBI. He then spent 13 years working on counter terrorism initiatives in the Middle East and Africa, before feeling like he wanted to try something new. His GoGetter cofounders provided just the opportunity – they were looking to relaunch their startup with better technology and renewed focus.
“The gap in worker supply is tremendous,” Jared says. “I think we realize the problem, and GoGetter makes a better mouse trap for people to exchange skills and jobs.” The company relaunched its website last month, and has 150 users signed up. The site targets three types of users: workers aka GoGetters, employers and organizations that are involved somehow in the skilled trades.
Workers build their profile. And GoGetter allows its employers to search the site for potential hires. The site also educates people about specific careers, providing information, for instance, about jobs in welding, construction and agriculture. “We’re trying to focus on filling the pipeline,” Jared says. “We want to connect people to the industries so that they can see the opportunity.”
A permanent presence
Jared says that there’s a common misconception that skilled trades workers aren’t using online sites as much because they’re not at desks during the day. “Our audience relies on their phones and social networks for resources, connections, and career opportunities,” he notes.
GoGetter gives its users a permanent online presence – a way to note their skills and experience, and for other employers to find them when they need them. The startup is working with a few focus groups, and steadily building both sides of their website: workers and employers. The business model is to charge employers for access to the site. For employees, creating a profile is free.
Wise isn’t raising money. Jared says that when it comes to help, “the best thing people can do is share GoGetter with people who work in trades, want to or employ them.”
You can reach Kelly by email at [email protected].