Partnerships between the business community and local schools are nothing new. More and more are taking place in relation to athletic facilities. In Westfield, New York Life has taken a different approach by hosting a special hospitality suite for the last two years at local high school football games.
“We were looking for an opportunity to get involved with the community and let people know of our presence in the area,” says Alex Clark, a representative with the local office of the insurance and financial services firm. “For us, it allows people to see us every other week. They like to work with someone they know, someone who is helping out in the community.”
The firm hosts various groups – police and firefighters, school guidance counselors and Westfield alumni as examples – as well as winners of a random drawing for each game. The suite area offers catered food, camaraderie with fellow attendees and an excellent view of the game. (Westfield compiled a 7-2 regular season record this year and will open the playoffs Friday at Lafayette Jefferson).
Group sizes have ranged from 30 to 55, with an average of about 40 attendees at each game. The reactions are all positive.
“There’s a lot of buzz. Parents who are coming say, ‘We’ve heard about it, we were curious, you guys have really done a nice job’ and they’re very appreciative of what we’ve provided for them,” Clark confirms. “They’re thrilled and excited. Once they get to come and see the space, they’re really in shock how nice it is.”
New York Life has the benefit of a 171-year corporate history, but Clark notes, “So much of what we do is built on relationships. People can find products and services we offer anywhere. But they choose to do business with us based on the strength of our company and the relationships between our clients and our advisers.”
Bob Gross of Westfield has been without a steady job since 2009, when he was let go from his position as a system analyst. Far from a greenhorn, Gross had cultivated 20 years of experience in his field. Now he brandishes a sign and a smile in downtown Indy in an effort to hopefully get some exposure. WRTV6 News has his story — with a link to his resume (so give him a call if you’re hiring):
A central Indiana man who has been unemployed since 2009 is undertaking some rather unconventional methods to try to land a professional job.
Bob Gross, of Westfield, has been carrying a sign in highly trafficked areas of Indianapolis for about two weeks, hoping to get a job in the finance and accounting field, 6News’ Ebone Monet reported.
On Thursday, Gross was hanging out with a large sign at Illinois and Market streets in hopes that someone passing by would be willing to give him a chance.
Gross, a father of two girls, was laid off from Delphi Corp., where he was a system analyst, in 2009. Aside from a brief contracting stint in January 2010, he’s been without a job ever since.
"My heart sunk. When my boss came up to me and said he needed to see me, I knew at that time that I was gone," Gross said. "You’re in a state of shock. You can’t believe it’s happening to you."
Gross has a business administration and management degree from Indiana University and had worked for Delphi/Delco Electronics for 20 years.
He said he has applied for up to 1,500 positions at numerous companies all over the Midwest and the East Coast, but that conventional means just weren’t working for him.
"I’ve interviewed several times, but I haven’t been offered a position," he said. "I had to do something. The Internet way wasn’t working for me. So, I thought I’d do something creative. I’m a little bold and gutsy."
The job hunt became more urgent for Gross when his wife was laid off two months ago, leaving the family without insurance coverage. He is set to run out of employment benefits at the end of the year.