New app empowers students with tailored jobs and financial resources

William Ward fled his hometown in Liberia, Africa due to the prevalence of war in 1999 and moved to Charlotte in 2000. 

He enrolled at  Central Piemont Community College to improve himself, but faced many challenges. 

As an immigrant, he said he lacked financial resources and social capital, which meant it took him four years to complete a two-year program. 

Since graduating, Ward has been using his own experiences to prevent others from going through similar trials through a new app called Flexie. 

Flexie is a platform for high school and college students to find work during school and after graduation. Jobs are tailored to the individual based on their interests and career goals.

Ward co-founded the app in July 2021 with Devin Rankin, his business partner.

The app also offers financial literacy resources, networking opportunities with career mentors, budgeting tips and credit management information.

Ward said the duo has already secured partnerships with Harris Teeter and the Chick-fil-A inside the Spectrum Center. 

Flexie is set to launch on August 20.

QCity Metro spoke with Ward and Rankin before the learn more about Flexie. 

Answers have been edited for clarity and brevity. 

This isn’t your first time creating a platform to help people find work. How did your initial idea evolve into Flexie?

WW: We started Petty Gigs in 2021, a mobile app that connected youth with business professionals who posted different types of jobs for them to make money. It was similar to Uber but for finding work in a neighborhood. Users were able to invest a portion of what they made to generate wealth. We had over 13,000 people sign up, but there weren’t enough job postings to meet the demand. We got an opportunity to get into Tech Stars last year, one of the world’s largest tech incubators. They invited us to a cohort in Texas, and we had an opportunity to refine the business. We identified that local companies needed help and young people needed work, so we wanted to bridge the gap. 

How does Flexie compare to more well-known job platforms like Indeed? 

DR: Flexie is unique in that it specifically targets high school and college students. 

WW: We are laser-focused on giving young people opportunities that match their lifestyles, interests and skills. And then, on top of that, we are providing additional resources for them to build wealth and manage their finances. And we’re helping companies build a pipeline of diverse talent. 

What would the registration process look for someone who just downloaded the app? 

WW: You can download the app or sign up on our website. You fill out your profile, such as what jobs you’re interested in, and connect yourself to a high school, college or community group affiliated with us. From there, we would use artificial intelligence to connect you with the kinds of opportunities you are looking for. 

Flexie app mockup. Photo courtesy of Devin Rankin

Will users have to pay to use Flexie? 

WW: Flexie will be free for people looking for jobs. We will, however, charge a subscription fee of at most five dollars to access the full suite of financial management tools. Companies will also have to pay a fee to post jobs. 

Will the app only be available in Charlotte?

WW: We’re starting in Charlotte, but we intend for this to be nationwide and even international as we grow.

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