Here's a man who knows how to turn a summer job into a higher calling.
"You'll be able to impact a lot of lives," Jamie Blackwell told a crowd of teenagers gathered around his table at the Lenape Regional High School District's second annual job fair Monday. His table was by far the busiest at the fair, held at Lenape High School in Medford. You can read my story about the job fair by clicking here.
Blackwell sounds like he's polishing a halo, but he wasn't talking about an institution with some noble mission to make people healthier, or more educated. He was talking about jobs operating amusements and rides at the Funplex Center in Mt. Laurel, an amusement park. "For me, it's about making a lot of kids happy." Blackwell pointed to other employers at the job fair and told the teenagers that many of those jobs would provide a pay check, but working at Funplex would be much more satisfying.
Blackwell played a classic, right out of the motivate-your-employees handbook. We all work better when we can attach the mundane tasks that we do to a higher mission. What could be more satisfying than making kids happy? But Blackwell did more than that, he promised these young people an opportunity to belong to a tribe, not just a miscellaneous gathering of people who happen to draw a check from the same establishment.