Company is not sponsored to recruit on campus

Tyrel Linkhorn

Kent State Career Services has told faculty and staff that a company recruiting for summer jobs is not sponsored by Career Services.

In fact, Career Services says, its policy doesn’t allow such companies to recruit because they require students to make an initial investment in order to get a job, and Career Services’ recruitment policy prohibits entrepreneurial employers from any online or on-campus recruiting.

The company is College Pro, which hires college students to paint apartments and homes near campus or their hometowns. Over the past few years, College Pro has approached Kent State’s Career Services numerous times about posting jobs on its online recruiting system known as Flash Forward, which allows students to post their resumes and employers to post available jobs, said Ami Haynes Hollis, Career Services Assistant Director.

College Pro also asked to attend career fairs.

A representative from College Pro, which has a headquarters in Waltham, Mass., was not available for comment.

Career Services has consistently rejected all of College Pro’s requests, because of the entrepreneurial nature of the company.

Career Services defines entrepreneurial employers in their recruiting policy available online as those which “require the job seeker to make an initial financial investment or fee payment as a condition of employment. Entrepreneurial employers also include those organizations that provide financial incentives to staff who recruit new hires for the organization and for which the recruiting staff member receives a portion of the new hire’s commission.”

College Pro promises an opportunity to make more money than the average college student over the summer, according to the College Pro Painters’ Web site. They offer three job opportunities: franchisee, job site manager and painter. A franchisee essentially runs his or her own business, overseeing the day-to-day operations of his or her own painting crews.

In the past, College Pro had approached Career Services. Beginning last semester, representatives from College Pro have been entering classrooms, giving a short presentation and circulating application information.

“When they go to the faculty, they say they have been in touch with Career Services and Career Services is sponsoring them,” Hollis said.

Last semester, a representative from College Pro attempted to give a presentation in one of sociology professor Steve Keto’s classes, but he said he denied the representative permission to do so.

Entering his classroom one day last week prior to the beginning of class, Keto saw someone at the front of the room.

“I assumed it was the professor from the previous class,” he said.

As Keto neared the end of his lecture, he said he noticed clipboards circulating and realized it was College Pro. He then interrupted the class to inform his students what the clipboards were for.

“Students were coming up scratching their name off once I told them,” he said.

When the College Pro representative returned to collect the information, he told Keto he was with Career Planning and Placement. Keto said he told the representative he would hold all of the information, and if Career Services confirmed the representative’s story, he would return the documents.

Career Services was unaware of the presentation. Keto was one of two professors over the past week to call Career Services questioning its involvement with College Pro, Hollis said.

As for now, Career Services has sent an e-mail to deans of all the schools and colleges, as well as other department heads, explaining the organization and the Kent State’s stand on the issue.

“In light of the recent situation, we’re going to work with Assistant Provost Evelyn Goldsmith and try to come up with more of a university policy on who comes into classrooms,” Hollis said.

With College Pro or any other potential employer, Hollis recommended students to research the company, ask for contact information of other employees and get a full view of what the company is about.

“It’s buyer beware. Make sure you know this is a good opportunity,” she said. “For the right student, it’s a great opportunity. We feel the large majority of students would find themselves in financial trouble.”

Contact news correspondent Tyrel Linkhorn at [email protected].