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Posted March 22, 2013 | comments Leave a comment

Nonprofit job bank operating in Woodstock

By Sally Voth

It's Karen Herman's job to help you find a job.

She and her husband Dave recently opened JASD (pronounced "jazzed") at 700 N. Main St., Woodstock. JASD stands for "Jobs and Services Daily."

Mrs. Herman said she helps those who don't have jobs, as well as those who are under-employed and links them up with work.

"Essentially, it's a traditional job bank in one sense, in that if you're unemployed, or you're looking for a job. And I scour the Internet, I do resumes...I do whatever it takes," Mrs. Herman, the nonprofit's founder, said.

She gave an example of a family needing some plumbing work done, but unable to afford the $500 fee quoted to them. She would work to find an out-of-work plumber who could do it for $300 instead, she said.

So many companies, including the small ones, are only taking online applications these days, Mrs. Herman has discovered.

"A lot of people don't have a computer, number one, or they don't have the skills to use it," she said. "I think the human resources department has gotten kind of out of hand...and they're not looking at all those people that are out there that they are missing."

She described having clients who have worked as carpenters or mechanics for 20 years, but who dropped out of high school to help on the family farm.

"Now, they go to a chicken house and they say, 'You have to have a high school diploma to pick up dead chickens,'" she said.

Small businesses could also be helped by JASD. Mrs. Herman said she recently had a man who wanted to keep his crew busy come to the office to look for extra work for them. She said he was also looking down the road for when he might need to hire more help on upcoming projects.

For the first year, Mrs. Herman is funding the business. She said she then hopes to get donations from civic groups, churches and individuals.

"The idea is to reduce the burden on public entitlements," Mrs. Herman said. "I'm not going to use government funding. I'm not going to go the grant route, in other words."

She said JASD opened in February, currently has about 20 active clients, and there are about six she knows of who have jobs.

"I'm learning as I go [that] some people don't come back and tell you that they found a job," Herman said.

She and her husband have lived in Woodstock for five years. She said her husband started a safe driving school, ATS Driving, and discovered there are many unemployed parents out there.

"Since we've moved here, we've just seen the economy going to nothing," Mrs. Herman said. "You've got to do something. That's why I opened it, and I'm hoping the community will back me."

For more information, visit www.getjasd2day.org, email getjasd2day@gmail.com, or call (540) 335-4194.

Contact staff writer Sally Voth at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or svoth@nvdaily.com

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