By Kate Collins
Interest in the Schenectady job market has been piqued by New York City executives this year as a new company, Quirky, hopes to bring employment and attention to the area.
Quirky will be opening a call center and testing lab on the top two floors of Center City. The company hopes to bring 180 new jobs to Schenectady, as well as many new perks and benefits for its employees.
Quirky, whose headquarters are rooted in New York City, is a consumer products company that combines invention with social media to produce products.
At their headquarters, analysts and designers are paid in the $40,000 range, according to glassdoor.com.
The jobs that will be offered in Schenectady will most likely pay less because they require less training.
However, the company did not specify the exact salaries it planned to pay local employees.
The company uses crowd sourcing to help develop product ideas that can be submitted by both inventors and regular people to their website.
The company focuses greatly on the public opinion, as they primarily look for feedback from people on the inventions.
Quirky asks its followers to comment on products and state what they believe to be an appropriate name, price and slogan, among other things. If the process operates successfully and the product is predicted to be popular, Quirky manufactures the product and sells it from its website. Customer representatives in Schenectady will help inventors as well as consumers who buy the products that Quirky focuses on.
A few products that Quirky has recently featured are the Flavinoator, Riff and Bloop. These products are a hand-held device that inserts marinade into meat, a type of guitar case that repels water and has a cushioning construction and a product that you insert into an aquarium, pumping rings of bubbles for your fish to actually swim through, respectively.
On the company’s blog, CEO Ben Kaufman elaborated about why the company chose the city of Schenectady for its new location.
Kaufman stated, “Why Schenectady? Well, besides its awesome, tongue twisting name, Schenectady is the home of the original GE headquarters.
“So, we’re pretty excited to follow in GE’s footsteps and continue Schenectady’s longstanding tradition of innovation.”
The increased interest in Schenectady is sure to be an asset for residents of all education levels and backgrounds.
As the city has been revitalizing itself for the past few years, this addition will also boost the city.
Not only will Quirky be offering new jobs to many residents, but it will also be putting Schenectady ahead of the game.
Many of the products that are featured on Quirky are unique, creative and modern which can only mean that the company itself is the same thing.
Quirky seems to have serious aspirations for the city of Schenectady. This past Thursday, representatives of the company visited the new location and met their new neighbors.
Quirky held a job fair later that day, looking for new members for their growing team.
On Quirky’s website, it noted some employee benefits, including medical, dental and vision plans, as well as 401K benefits.
Quirky also stated some perks of being a part of their team, including: parking and transit, snacks, drinks, bikes and showers.
According to the company, “We work in a fast and dynamic environment, but will never lose sight of our single yet ambitious vision: to make invention accessible.”
Quirky is getting nearly $1 million in state and local subsidies, and will be occupying 22,000 square feet in Center City.
According to Kaufman, “The space is great, it’s just gorgeous. It’s going to be phenomenal.”
The company also hopes to utilize Proctors, which the company intends to use as a venue for product evaluations.
It seems as if the addition of Quirky to Schenectady is only going to offer positive benefits to residents.
When asked for further comment, Quirky stated that they are currently dedicating their time to their job fair and will have more to report in the coming months.