Empowering manufacturers. Creating jobs. Transforming our city.

By: Katy Podbielski
Workforce and Hiring Intern, SFMade


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David found his job at Modify Watches through the SFMade job board

One of the greatest aspects of life in San Francisco is the city pride that holds strong in the hearts of local residents: we all want to live, work, and play in the Bay. One of the ways SFMade helps local businesses and job seekers find what they need is by running the SFMade job board, an online job listing site with all local employment positions available at SFMade member companies. I followed-up with one of our member businesses, Modify Watches, and two employees hired through the board to learn what the hiring process was like for both employers and applicants.

Modify Watches got started in 2010 by two guys designing fun, affordable and customizable watches for the fashion-savvy and practical watch-wearer, and has grown to support a team of more than ten employees today. I walked over to Modify’s production space in SOMA last month and spoke with Operations Manager Kevin Benik about how the company functions. “We do everything in house—design, production, assembly, packaging and distribution. This way, it’s great for us to adjust things quickly and accommodate everyone in the office.”

When the guys at Modify decided to expand, they reached out to SFMade’s Hiring Manager Claire Michaels to discuss options for growth. After crafting the perfect job description and posting the open positions on the job board, Kevin received applications from current team members Shane and David.


Shane was connected to the SFMade job board through one of SFMade’s workforce partners Swords to Plowshares.

Shane was connected to the job board through one of SFMade’s workforce partners Swords to Plowshares, a community organization that has provided housing and job development services to veterans living in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1974. Job Developers at Swords to Plowshares receive emails from SFMade’s Hiring Manager Claire Michaels that detail all open jobs at SFMade member companies.

Alex is the Job Developer at Swords to Plowshares who helped Shane find his position at Modify, and has worked at the organization since 2011. Alex told me the process of finding the right match between job seeker and employer, and noted that flexibility is key when it comes to finding the right match between skills, training, and scheduling. Shane had no prior experience in watch assembly, but through Alex and Claire’s recommendations and after performing well in the interview was hired, and trained on-site.

After moving to the Bay Area from Florida, David was told about the job board from a friend, checked out the website, and applied directly to Modify. Having a background in design, David enjoys how open Modify is as a company, and has the opportunity to contribute to design strategy meetings in addition to working in watch assembly.

The SFMade job board is a great resource for SFMade member businesses looking for passionate employees to expand their production powers, and for San Franciscans seeking good, local jobs. That personal reminder that skills can be transferrable and learned with the right mindset has helped both businesses and job-seekers in SF find what they need.

To learn more about Modify and to shop their awesome watches, visit www.ModifyWatches.com.

To look for employment positions with SFMade member businesses, check out the SFMade job board at www.sfmade.org/job-board.

For information on how to post open positions on the SFMade job board, contact SFMade’s Hiring Manager Claire Michaels at [email protected].