What Do The America's Cup, Blue Angels, And Job Seekers Have In Common?

By Kym McNicholas , written on October 5, 2012

From The News Desk

The America’s Cup Races are in town, the Blue Angels are roaring overhead, and more than 1 million visitors are converging on San Francisco Bay over the course of the weekend. It’s the perfect opportunity for any company with a boat to hit the water for a little show and tell.

That’s just what Jerome Ternynck, founder and CEO of recruiting and employment management software firm SmartRecruiters did this morning. He raised the sails of his extreme race catamaran – with the SmartRecruiters logo 42 feet high in the air -- launching a “Sailing For Jobs” initiative on the water between Fort Mason and Alcatraz.

It's kind of like sending out the Goodyear Blimp during a large event or a small aircraft to skywrite Geico overhead. When all eyes are glued on the action, they can't help but see it. A $25,000 sail that lasts about three years is probably a little more cost-effective than a Goodyear blimp that rents for upwards of $10,000 per hour. Although it can take 80 man hours to prepare a boat like this for just one hour of sailing.

"It's worth it though because we are really trying to raise awareness about the job market and encourage executives to get out of their offices and meet people who really need jobs," explains Ternynck. "And this is a really fun and relaxing way to bring everyone together."

So, it was Ternynck, along with one of his investors, Branchout CEO Rick Marini, who braved the waves of the San Francisco Bay to mentor the longtime unemployed.

Our boat ride included these two job seekers:

  • Victor Gray, a licensed contractor with a computer degree from 30 years ago who has had much trouble getting business & residential work since 2008
  • Oluwatobi Akininyemi, a recent MBA graduate who must find a job to stay in the country
They're two of more than 12.1 million people out of work in the US right now, according to the latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers. The unemployment rate is at 7.8 percent, and if all 3.5 million open jobs would be filled today, the unemployment rate would decline by more than 3 percent (Clinton Global Initiative).

Branchout reports the hottest three areas for jobs right now are in technology, healthcare, and professional services (accounting, finance, consulting).