Student Entrepreneurs Put Fellow Patriots to Work

Posted: October 5, 2004 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Colleen Kearney Rich

Most students attending the Job Fair in Dewberry Hall won’t be surprised to find temp agencies among the employers with exhibits, but they may be surprised to see their classmates there. Government and international politics major Tommy Moore and business major Brandon Labman will be on hand today and tomorrow manning their own booth and trying to put their fellow Patriots to work.

Moore and Labman started their company, ROCS Inc., in January 2003 with about eight students working for them. ROCS stands for Responsible Outgoing College Students, and Moore and Labman mean every word of it.

“Every business has the same complaint about temporary staff,” says Moore, who is also chief executive officer of the company and a full-time Mason student. “The typical temp employee has basic skills, but no real understanding of the business they are working in and zero enthusiasm.”

The two business partners kind of fell into the temporary placement field. While interning on a nationwide calling project at a nonprofit organization, they were approached by their employers to recruit some of their friends. “They were extremely happy with the results,” says Moore, “so we thought, ‘why don’t we do this for other companies?'”

After about six months of research, Labman and Moore thought they had a good grasp of the staffing agency market. They started the business out of their apartment and began the steps to become incorporated.

“We now have more than 35 companies working with us, and we’ve been running payroll for the last six months,” says Moore. ROCS currently employs 20 students and has more than 150 students who are willing to work. They have also rented some office space.

“We recognize that there is a problem between colleges and businesses in the area. Lots of companies had no idea how to get in touch with students on campus,” says Labman. Also, students were tired of getting those flyers that promised quick money and looked like scams. “This is where we thought we could help out. We take a more proactive approach to finding students and placing them with companies.” ROCS strives to put the students in working atmospheres that fit their field of study so they can gain some real-world experience that might help them see where their degrees could take them.

The annual Job Fair runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. For more information about ROCS, visit

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