Leap for jobs: FrogJob links teens to high-tech firms for summer jobs in CA

April 24, 2002

MILLBRAE - LIKE MOST teen-agers, Daniel Fabbri craved a summer job last year. But he didn't want just any old job.

By Tim Simmers - STAFF WRITER Oakland Tribune

He wanted a technology job, in which he could improve his computer skills. After combing the abundance of Web sites and online bulletin boards for job seekers, Fabbri said he felt frustrated because there wasn't much available for teen-agers.

So he and his neighborhood friend Jesse Marsh created FrogJob.com, an online job service for teen-agers and companies in the high-tech field.

"It took us a year to build a Web site ourselves," said Fabbri, a junior at Mills High School in Millbrae.

Companies can search the list of teen-agers for budding techies they might like to hire.

They also can post job opportunities, allowing teens to browse job openings on their own. The service is free to teen-agers and companies, who can log on at FrogJob.com.

The boys are still searching for the high-tech job of their dreams. But they've developed some skills they might never have learned if they didn't take the initiative to start their own Web site.

"We've learned how to program and design a Web site," said Fabbri, who has worked nearly a year to put together FrogJob. "But we also learned you can have a good product, but you've got to get it out there."

The 16-year-olds have struggled to get companies to sign on and look through the list of teen-agers, which includes nearly 60.

If they had more money, they could advertise, make fliers and spend time calling companies and sending out e-mails.

Amor Traceski, a human resources manager who hired Fabbri last summer because she was struck by his initiative, focus and creativity, said she thinks FrogJob is informative and hopes the Web site grows.

"FrogJob is a good source," said Traceski, who headed up human resources last year at E-centives, an electronic commerce marketing group in Redwood City. She hired Fabbri to help with Web design and other creative efforts.

"Most companies don't have access to high school students in need of summer jobs," she said. E-centives of Redwood City is one of the companies using FrogJob.

She said she thinks the Web site lays a foundation to strengthen youth and help them make the transition to adulthood.

Fabbri's partner Jesse Marsh, also of Millbrae, would like to see a thriving exchange where teen-agers use their skills and companies find workers they need.

"Teen work skills have not been used to their full potential," said Marsh, who poured through many books with Fabbri to learn how to program the Web sites.

"Kids are a large market for computers, and they have good skills," said Fabbri, who received a good deal of encouragement from his father, who has spent years in the technology business. Marsh's father is also a veteran technology worker.

Marsh went through a lot of trial and error, "playing around with code," to produce FrogJob.

"It was a way for us to learn programming," he said.

Marsh said he would like to see the Web site expand, and hopes that eventually teen-agers "can have choices" of job offers from several different companies.

But he's a realist. He knows he's got a large hurdle to overcome. FrogJob needs funding to expose the Web site to companies and teen-agers.

"The whole thing of putting together a viable company is a lot more complicated than I originally thought," said Marsh. "But we saw a market for the idea of hooking teen-agers up with jobs."

They'd like to see an international job site with jobs and resumes coming from across the world. There are already a number of teen resumes from across the country, but there's plenty of room for growth.

"It's hard to get companies to take you seriously and call you back when you're a teen-ager," said Fabbri.

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