Bad News, Good Recovery

By Deborah Gage  |  Posted 2001-06-11 Print this article Print

Economic crunch put you out of a job? Talk about your skills with pride online.

Steve Pieczko got laid off in January. He was working for a security company that was acquired by Ameritech, and middle managers were the first to go. But did he sit around and brood? No.

Figuring that there were many people in his position, he launched, a site that matches the laid-off with recruiters trying to fill jobs.

Pieczko cannot credit the site with landing his new job—he found his new job just as the site launched. But so far, 18 other people have found jobs through the site, and anywhere from 100 to 300 people register with the site each day. is not profitable—in fact, it is in the hole. Pieczkos wife watches the site during the day, serving as the unpaid webmaster, and Pieczko pays the hosting and development costs himself, although advertising defrays some of his expenses.

Pieczko says he gets a great deal of satisfaction from helping people who need it. And people are using the site because widespread layoffs have removed the stigma associated with losing a job.

"People are getting laid off based on business decisions of profitability and revenue, not on their abilities," he says. "So they arent afraid to use a site like this."

Senior Writer
Based in Silicon Valley, Debbie was a founding member of Ziff Davis Media's Sm@rt Partner, where she developed investigative projects and wrote a column on start-ups. She has covered the high-tech industry since 1994 and has also worked for Minnesota Public Radio, covering state politics. She has written freelance op-ed pieces on public education for the San Jose Mercury News, and has also won several national awards for her work co-producing a documentary. She has a B.A. from Minnesota State University.


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