Bay Area mom creates job app for today's busy teen

PALO ALTO, Calif. (KGO) -- Part of building a better Bay Area involves connecting a community. One South Bay mom is trying to do just that with her new app.

TeenJobFind allows adults to hire neighborhood teens to help tackle to-do lists. In turn, teens are given invaluable work experience.

Janet Shah is a mother of three. Once her kids stopped asking for candy bars and started asking for the latest gadgets, she was hoping to teach her kids the value of a dollar.

"I had found myself saying over and over, 'When I was your age, I was earning my own money. I was babysitting,'" Shah told ABC7 News. "I would never ask my parents for some luxury item like that."

However, Shah said she understood a steady job can be unrealistic for today's busy teen.

With some help, she launched the TeenJobFind app in August 2017. Shah is the founder and CEO.

The platform allows teens to earn money doing odd jobs around the community. Some job posts involve yard work, assisting at parties, tech help, etc.

Shah added, "It was more of my thinking, 'Hmm, wouldn't it be great if, when our teens are free, they could work and earn some money and learn those valuable life lessons on their own time.'"

Palo Alto resident, Linda Faust, uses the app for help around the house.

"The teens have been very dependable," Faust explained. "They've shown up on time. They've done the work I've asked them to do."

With teens of her own, she added, "Where I had a regular job as a teen that I had to show up for 20-hours a week, these kids are really scheduled."

Her 16-year-old daughter, Hallie Faust, checks the TeenJobFind app once a week for work.

"In our neighborhood, being on a busy street, it's kind of hard getting babysitting jobs and things like that when there isn't much of a community," Hallie said.

Access to the app requires parent approval and an additional reference for a teen.

Parents are notified when their teen accepts a job, and when they've arrived to work.

Job posters must go through a background check to get onto the platform.

"That's a seven-year criminal check, sex offender check and the county check as well," founder, Shah said.

She told ABC7 News, TeenJobFind is approaching 1,000 users, and a 5-to-1 ratio. Shah explained for every job post, there are approximately five teens willing to work.

"We're helping two sides of the equation," Shah said. "We're helping our teens learn valuable life lessons that they're going to take with them for the rest of their life."

"In addition to that, we're helping our community," Shah said. "We're bringing back that sense of community so that people can get their tasks done by somebody local."

For now, the app is only available to users between Sunnyvale and Belmont. Shah says there are plans to launch in New Orleans.

She hopes to expand the app across the U.S. in three to five years.

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