BC Biz: App now connects veterans directly to work | Business

A free mobile app that connects trades workers to jobs can now benefit veterans thanks to a new partnership.

Binghamton-based mobile app company USEFUZE is now working with Hire Heroes USA, an organization that helps military members, veterans, and military spouses find employment opportunities.

Each year, the army lays off 270,000 soldiers and 80% will not have a job. The unemployment rate for military spouses is four times the national average, according to USEFUZE.

The partnership will focus on educating and training veterans after their service ends, according to Rawley Filbin, CEO/co-founder of USEFUL.

“USEFUZE is a digital business card that acts as a profile, allowing workers to showcase their skills, highlight customer ratings and reviews, and display their portfolio of work,” Filbin said. “They can create quotes and invoices on the go and customize their specific profile.”

He described the app as a combination of LinkedIn and CARFAX for business service workers where anyone can use it to grow their business. The app is available on Google Play and Apple App Store.

“As a professional, how often do people hear a painter, roofer, or carpenter say to check their credentials on LinkedIn?” Filbin asked. “If someone has a skill and doesn’t necessarily want to go through a training or educational component, with USEFUZE they can create a profile and start working straight away.”

The initiative affects Filbin because his brother Halsey was an army captain who was discharged a year ago. He was looking for a job and Filbin asked his brother how to help people in the same situation. Halsey is now COO of the app company.

Filbin worked with his father Chip in their family business, Filbin Painting, which has a location in Waverly. A month before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Filbin stepped away from the family business to start the app company.

“The idea came from the trials and tribulations we saw in our family business trying to find employees,” he said. “It was actually a smooth transition as we were working remotely anyway.”

The app was initially released on app stores in May 2021 and was re-released on February 1 this year after changes were made to make it perfect. The company has even caught the eye of Binghamton University, which wants to work with them now. The company also caught the eye of Silicon Valley consultants, who helped launch DoorDash and helped them make connections in the industry.

“It was the most fun job I’ve ever had and we were very lucky,” Filbin said.

The company now has a fully remote team that has gone international. It has designers in Indonesia, a product manager in Dubai, and an app developer in Bosnia. His brother Hawley helps run the business in Nashville.

“People have realized that the job doesn’t have to be a nine-to-five job,” he said. “It can be a combination of a few jobs that meet their needs and pay their bills, so people are just looking to work differently and that’s what the app ultimately leverages.”

Lance B. Holton