University needs new job database

Job vacancies in Minnesota are the highest they have been in 14 years, the state’s Department of Employment and Economic Development announced last week. Part-time and temporary jobs are driving vacancy rates, accounting for 41 and 13 percent of vacancies, respectively.

Employers will continue to hire workers to replace retiring baby boomers, and students are prime hiring candidates. The University of Minnesota should consider these new survey numbers an impetus to develop a system that matches students with the part-time jobs the state needs filled.

The University already manages two job database systems, but neither connects students with off-campus, part-time jobs. The GoldPASS system is marketed as a professional, career-oriented job database, and it won’t necessarily help students looking to make extra money by working a part-time job unrelated to their major. Students also have access to a database of part-time job openings on campus, but those internal options are limited.

In addition to these systems, the University should develop a database where local businesses — such as those in Dinkytown, Stadium Village or at the Mall of America — could post vacancies. Amid recent tuition increases, we believe the student body would benefit from a service that pairs students with part-time jobs.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Student Job Center, which lists pay and bus line access in addition to off-campus job descriptions, is a good example of how a successful job matching service could work. A similar tool in Minnesota would not only benefit University students but also the entire state.