Panhandler in reverse: Yakima business owner advertises jobs on street

YAKIMA, Wash. -- Like them or not, panhandlers can be creative with their signs that ask for help. But, you probably haven't seen anything like this guy.

Lance Forsee carries his own sign on Yakima's street corners, and he's turning heads. It got a lot of you talking when we put up a picture on our Facebook page. KIMA learned what makes him so different.

Lance Forsee holds his sign at the intersection of 40th Avenue and Summitview Avenue. At first glance, he might look like a panhandler. While he's not begging for money, he does want help.

"We're hiring!" he says.

He's asking you to come work for him.

"Come by, check us out!"

Lance owns Colonial Lawn and Garden, a full-service landscaping company in Yakima. He has five job openings, but he can't seem to fill them. He lets everyone who drives by know he's desperate.

KIMA asked him, "You could be advertising these jobs online or in the newspaper. Why are you here with the sign?"

"Well, we're thinking outside the box - actually using a box to get the message out," he said.

And, he's getting noticed.

"You bet, great idea," said one driver.

Lance says people aren't scared to come up to him on the street. There's no pressure there like in an employment center.

"It's a more relaxed environment, and they're not on the hot seat, I am, so to speak," he said.

Some drivers still roll up their windows, treating him like a beggar they're used to seeing.

"It's kind of humbling, and it's an interesting perspective I see from the other side of the sign."

But, Lance's strategy seems to pay off. Back at Colonial, his lobby was packed with people filling out applications.

"They put, 'Saw a guy on the street corner with sign,' for reference," he said.

This isn't the first time Lance has done this. He expects to be out there again until of his jobs are filled.

A panhandler in reverse.

Lance says he has made one hire since trying this tactic. You can find more about his opportunities at Colonial Lawn and Garden on West Washington Avenue.