Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Pressing need — Printers offer free service to help local job seekers

By Jenny Neyman
Redoubt Reporter

Shane and Melanie Noblin are offering a new service at their business that they expect to be popular, although they hope no one needs to use it.

The Noblins, who own Peninsula Printing, are offering what they call a career assist package, where they provide 100 business cards, 50 resumes, 50 pieces of blank stationary and 50 blank envelopes for free.

The service is meant to help the unemployed search for a job, Melanie Noblin said. With the national downturn in the economy, she anticipates more people being out of work and needing to apply for employment.

“We have been seeing more businesses kind of tighten up and close down,” she said. We’re on the tail end of the economy and recession, so we’re just now going to start seeing a slowdown, if we see one.”

The Noblins saw a notice in a trade magazine they subscribe to about a print shop in Illinois that was offering free resume and business card printing to help local job seekers. The shop challenged other printers to do the same.

The Noblins decided to try it. On one hand, they’d be doing what they could to help local residents in tough times, and on the other, if no one used the service, then they could be happy that the job market is going strong, Noblin said.

“We figured we’re going to give it a shot,” she said. “We don’t have too much to lose in offering it. If it’s successful, great. If not, it’s probably even better that they didn’t need it.”

Noblin said she’s been hanging up posters advertising the service around town, including the Alaska Employment Service in Kenai.

“They were really excited and were happy to see that this was a service that was offered,” Noblin said. “You can print resumes from the job service, but what I’ve heard is it’s very limited and not extremely great quality for going out and looking for a job. It’s just a little service that they provide, but some people want something more professional.”

Noblin said she’s gotten some skepticism that there must be fees attached somewhere. She said Peninsula Printing buys paper in bulk to the point where giving away 50 resumes or 100 business cards is a negligible cost, and with computer programs making text layout so easy these days, it doesn’t take much effort.

“It really doesn’t take much time for me — 10 or 20 minutes out of my day to help someone out,” she said.

Anyone interested in the service can upload pre-typed business cards and resumes or submit unformatted text files online at www.peninsulaprinting.net. Or call Noblin for more information at 262-5267. Turnaround is one to two weeks. Orders can be picked up at the shop on K-B drive behind Save-U-More on Kalifornsky Beach Road, or shipped for $10.

The Noblins have owned Peninsula Printing since 2004, and have lived in the area for much longer. The career assist program is a business service for them. They also see it as community service.

“It only requires a little effort on our part, but could mean the world to someone without the resources they need to help secure a job. Really, in a community this small, every little bit helps, and it all circulates back to sustaining the local economy. It’s just good karma,” Noblin said.

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