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GEAR Connects Workers to Careers

GEAR is primarily focused on providing skilled labor to the manufacturing industry.

By Livability on October 7, 2021

Man at work at a construction site
Courtesy of GEAR

For GEAR, building and nurturing strong relationships is the key to connecting quality people with quality jobs. 

Founded in 2015 in Blount County, Global Employment and Recruiting is a staffing agency primarily focused on providing skilled labor for the construction industry and staffing for the manufacturing sector. 

“What completely sets us apart is our personal touch,” says Taylor Mullins, GEAR chief operating officer. “It’s about relationships, being honest and treating people fairly.” 

It’s a philosophy that works. 

“Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, 2020 turned out to be a year that allowed GEAR to look inside itself, to rededicate itself to its customers, and to create and build our new CARES program,” says co-owner Fran Bennett. “Because of that, the future looks bright.” 

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Courtesy of GEAR

GEAR is exploring benefits for workers ranging from paid time off and paid holidays to sign-on bonuses. The company already offers medical and vision benefits. 

GEAR is not a day labor company. “We want our people to have work for a year, minimum,” Mullins says. “We have people who have been with us from the beginning. It’s all about having a relationship with the workers and the customers.” 

As a result, GEAR has built a network of skilled workers and a roster of loyal clients. 

Mullins says the company recognizes the first day on the job can be daunting for any new employee. 

“We’ll buy the worker a biscuit and walk with them onto the job site that first day,” he says. “We know people may need a little extra support. We are there for them.” 

 “We’ve seen people who had little hope who are now envisioning a career and a future.” 

Hunter Bennett, director of GEAR CARES 

GEAR is also there for others in need of a little extra support. In the fall of 2020, the company established its CARES program – Community Action through Recruitment, Employment and Sustainment – fulfilling its dual mission of creating value for customers and giving back to the community. 

GEAR CARES offers a second chance for people at a crossroads in their lives. Working with probation offices and recovery courts in Blount County, Halfway Houses in East Tennessee and public transportation through the Knox County CAC, the CARES program is a second chance for people who seek it. 

“CARES is not a handout; it is a helping hand up,” says Fran, who owns GEAR with Mark Grayson. Hunter Bennett is the director of CARES. 

“We’ve seen people who had little hope who are now envisioning a career and a future,” Hunter says. “Instead of people committing crimes, they are working and providing services to their employers and their communities.” 

By summer 2021, the program had matched more than 40 participants to jobs. 

“We have a gentleman who, after two months in the CARES program, was able to purchase a car and move out from transitional housing into his own permanent residence and is working on his GED.” 

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This employee is also getting excellent reviews from his employer and is expected to be hired full-time. 

“Now, he’s looking at a real future,” Hunter says. 

“We believe everyone deserves a second chance, and when someone finds themself in a situation that has ended in incarceration or probation, finding a job is critical to getting back to some sense of normalcy,” Fran explains. 

“Once someone gets in trouble and enters the criminal justice system, it’s difficult to get out,” she adds. “CARES helps break down that barrier.”

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