THE FULL STORY...
Jay Herrigel, the founder of Handz for Hire, grew up in New Jersey and studied environmental engineering and science at the University of Delaware. After college, he worked for an environmental consulting company, Duffield Associates, in Wilmington, DE. While at Duffield, Jay realized his passion for teaching and coaching, and earned his teacher's certificate in physical sciences in the State of New Jersey.
For thirteen years, he taught high school physics and environmental science, and in his first year became the head track and cross country coach. This is when his idea for Handz for Hire began to develop. His high school athletes were often asking to miss practice due to inflexible part time jobs. This created commitment conflicts for the student between coach and employer on a daily basis. At the time, Coach Jay, kept a journal of ideas to help solve daily issues in people’s lives. One of the main ideas written in the journal was to give busy high school, or college-aged students the opportunity to find convenient work with flexible hours around the community.
At the same time, Jay Herrigel noticed a need from community members to connect with this young demographic for odd jobs including, but not limited to babysitting, dog walking, landscaping, lawn mowing, snow shoveling, packing or unpacking boxes, heavy lifting, mother’s helper, assembling furniture, painting, project assistant, house cleaning, house party server, or housesitting. Instead of paying a professional top dollar to complete these tasks, a community member would be able to create a job, name a price (not wait for a quote), and hire a neighbor or a local non-professional to complete a task. It is Jay's goal to make life easier for neighbors while providing part time opportunities for members of the community.
He will never forget the amazing students he taught and coached in NJ. They were the inspiration for this company. He and his family moved to Florida in 2016 when his wife found a job opportunity that she couldn't pass up. Although Jay is certified to teach high school physics, chemistry, and environmental science in the State of Florida, he decided to start Handz for Hire from home while helping raise his two daughters and son.
"I'd like acknowledge and thank my wife and kids for being understanding and supportive through the process of starting this company. I love you and couldn't do any of this without you! Kaan Gencer your advice and day to day feedback has been invaluable through this process. Thank you! Lucas Wyman and iRepairFast, thank you for your reassurances, feedback, and all your help with media. Rafi and the iZaap Technologies team, thank you for building me a wonderful app. To my neighbors, thank you for your contributions and support! I am blessed and forever grateful!" - Jay Herrigel
Update 3/6/21: Jay had been working extremely hard throughout 2019 to develop the second version of the Handz app. After writing an extensive business plan (with help), organizing many new ideas, and taking all the feedback from the beta period, Jay had put a team together to make Handz 2.0 a reality. The pandemic hit and the Handz for Hire app traffic came to a halt. When one door closes, another one opens. Jay continued to create relevant content for the Handz for Hire YouTube Channel, which tripled in size in 2020. Jay stayed in touch with an old friend and former teaching colleague, Chris Kling, and together they started the company Science Outside. The collaboration brought Jay back into the world of education. Together Jay and Chris create classroom and virtual science content such as environmental science case studies for teachers and students across the world. As an entrepreneur, Jay's career has adjusted to the world we are living in, but he is enjoying what he's doing and forever grateful for these opportunities.