Springs job seekers network at Laid Off Camp

Dozens of job seekers spent the afternoon networking, attending interactive workshops and learning about how to start-up a business at Laid Off Camp-COS on July 16.

Co-hosted by Croke-Schoenherr & Associates and The Pikes Peak Community Foundation, Laid Off Camp offered consultations, mock interviews and seminars about such topics as protecting intellectual property, using social media effectively and the financial and structural aspects of entrepreneurialism.

Impeccably groomed and dressed in a pin-striped, charcoal grey suit, John, who declined to give his last name, said the camp was a benefit. Everyone he met was positive and supportive, and he did get a job lead during the afternoon.

Most recently, he worked as a manufacturing engineer, developing and building the processes to manufacture computers.

“At one time, it was a good field. You could pick up the phone and easily get three interviews across the country,” John said.

He attended Laid Off Camp because of the networking opportunities.

“In this economy, you have to take a creative approach and be self-directed. You can’t sit at home and wait for people to call – you have to be active and go out and meet people.”

Among other seminars, John attended a presentation about structuring a start-up business, given by Chris Blees, CEO of BiggsKofford, and Alisha Williams, a certified public accountant with BiggsKofford.

“A lot of people are overwhelmed with the administrative aspects of starting up a business,” Williams said.

At one end of the spectrum of entity structures is a sole proprietorship, in which “personal and business taxes are joined at the hip – you file a Schedule C along with your personal taxes,” Blees said.

And at the other extreme is a “C” Corporation, an entity which carries its own legal status, separate and distinct from its owners.

Attendees asked questions, laughed at Blees’ IRS jokes and left with a Small Business
Start Up Kit and a sense of hope.