What if every business in America — large and small — were to add just one job?
That is the question One Job for America founder Carla Emil is asking.
The organization, which encourages business nationwide to create one new job, was born out of Emil’s frustration with the job situation in America.
“Like a lot of people, I have been frustrated, and saddened even, by the situation with jobs and unemployment in this country. I thought about it a lot and wished there was something I could do about it,” Emil said.
One Job for America and its philosophy come at a time when the economy is in the midst of a slow recovery. According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment rose by 244,000 in April. Arizona saw 3,900 more people working in April than the month before, the biggest month-to-month change since before the recession began.
Even though employment increased, its overall picture still remains uncertain. Last month the unemployment rate rose to 9 percent while the total number of unemployed persons stood at 13.7 million.
The organization, which formed in mid-February, reported that 181 jobs have been pledged and companies filled 65 of those positions. The pledges from businesses span 38 states.
“I have said this to people I know and I mean this sincerely: If only one job had been created, I would have been happy. I mean 65 jobs, that is 65 lives that have been affected,” she said.
Emil hopes her organization can affect employment in a positive manner through this straightforward approach, especially since Congress and the president shifted their focus from creating jobs to balancing the nation’s pocketbooks and the democracy movement sweeping the Middle East.
“When I had the idea for asking every business in America to create just one job, there was something about that that seemed like it could be accomplished,” Emil said.
One Job for America generated a lot of buzz, particularly within the first days of the organization’s founding.
Media mogul Arianna Huffington liked Emil’s idea and featured a blog post about One Job for America on the front page of her website, The Huffington Post. Emil has also been on MSNBC’s “Dylan Ratigan Show” as well as Fox News.
That coverage brought in 15 to 20 job pledges a day early on.
Roger Chamberlain, the general manager of Little Dealer, Little Prices RV, which has a Mesa location, first heard of this organization through a TV segment and liked its philosophy.
“It’s encouraging for us, encouraging for them, encouraging all the way around,” Chamberlain said.
Hiring new workers was on his mind when he saw the segment on One Job for America.
His wife contacted the organization once the business added another job in their service department at the company’s Deer Valley location.
“I think it’s kind of a cool idea. I mean when I saw the thing on TV the first thing I thought of was that it was encouraging. People could hire people and we can get more people in the workplace, generating more gross dollars. It just seemed like a good thing,” Chamberlain said.
The organization receives pledges from mainly small and middle-size businesses, Emil said.
While she initially hoped that large businesses would become involved, it may be difficult for larger companies to think of hiring in this manner since they are constantly hiring new workers and letting older ones go.
Though technology companies comprise a large number of the pledges, positions range from tutoring to jobs in the arts.
Once the organization receives a pledge, it verifies that the pledge comes from a real individual with an established business and then asks the company to keep in touch.
Businesses can pledge to create a job and support this organization at http://onejobforamerica.org
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