Thursday, March 02, 2006

need ideas, please help

I was talking with traintalk on the train this mornign (as usual) and the conversation turned towards employment, poverty, hopelessness and why nothing can be done about it in Israel. I mentioned an idea that I had been working on a couple years ago before I got a job that I believe could improve the situation.

The Day Labor Employment Center. A for-profit social enterprise.

I never followed through with it because I got offered a full-time job in my field during the same week that I had an interview for a grant. The grant wouldn't have paid all the bills and I was really more interested in integrating into society at that point, soon after we had made aliyah. But now that I'm feeling that my family has pretty much normalized into our community and Israeli society, it is time to put the social issues back on the table.

Helping me out with this can be a serious help to the Israeli economy, and give people more control on their lives. In short, it is a mitzva.

What I am looking for:
1) Ideas for projects that can be done with little/no training, paid on a per task basis and do not need follow up by the person who did the work.

2) People or companies who are willing to pay for this work to be done.

As an example of #1, filling cute bottles with Israeli sand.
As an example of #2, someone who would like to sell cute bottles of Israeli sand out fo Israel.
As another example of #2, a company that would like to sell bead necklaces, needs filing done or any other non-complicated work.

We would be able to do this for a very good price, and you would be helping out the Israeli economy. Right now I am trolling for ideas and to check out the potential before starting to more seriously pursue it. If a test case center works in a small town, then we can expand the program around the country.

Please pass this link on to anyone else you think may be interested.


Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Hi Rock:

Kol HaKavod on your idea.

However, not wanting to be negative -- I just wanted to share the following. A friend of mine picked up his entire company from Petach Tikva, and out of purely ideaological reasons, moved it the Muqata-land.

The problem is, he can't find workers to do physical labor (unskilled) in his factory...since many of the unemployed people in my area would rather get money from social security than work.

This kills me...many people would rather get wheat they can through not working then from honest, hard work...or even easy work like filling up bottles with sand.

Even if we managed to find people who would want to buy the products...I'm not sure there will be people lining up to manufacture them.

PS: Drop me an email when you get a chance.

Rolling hills of green said...

It goes back to teaching the regular guy that any work is better than no work. Maybe not any work, but this wouldn't be that kind of work that people won't do.

rockofgalilee said...

There's a big difference between what I want to do and what your friend did. One of the reasons why people will not take a physical labor/unskilled labor job is because they don't want to limit themselves or tie themselves down to a job that they consider beneath them or not a career option.
What I want to do as "day labor" is have open working hours, paid per task. That means if someone is still seeking their "dream job," they are free to send out resumes and go on interviews without compromising their current job. The place has to respect people and treat them like humans, not drek off the street who are easily replacable.

Aside from this, I spoke with the misrad harevacha, the welfare agency, and they were interested in working with me on it.

It will also be good for people who just want to work a couple hours extra when they are in the mood. Earn a couple extra shekels here and there. It would be good for retired people as well.

I believe that if the right effort was put in, it could run very well and be very profitable.

traintalk said...

Maybe #3 should be asking interested future employees directly to petition saying that they like the idea and intend to participate. Or to have others getting potentials listed. Real names not necessary.

rockofgalilee said...

The people who I am interested in finding to work would not read this blog. The test case would be in a small galilean city in north west Israel. The population is mostly Russian and Morrocan. Most of them do not speak English, nor would they have a need to speak English.

traintalk said...

Once the culture and language barriers are bridged (probably not by us) and it is seen as a decent place to be and earn, it should work.

rockofgalilee said...

I feel very strongly that with a little psychological marketing, we can bridge that gap.

mom said...

stuffing envelopes and mailing for organizations or companies is something that can be done by just about anyone. We've outsourced organiztional mailings to both seniors and mentally handicapped people.