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Website created by Idaho man promises politics-free job posts

Joseph English, KATU Portland | September 23, 2021

Before he left the tech world of the Bay Area, CEO Andrew Crapuchettes says he gathered a lot of data about jobs, and he saw the employee shortage coming. So, two months ago he moved to Idaho and founded RedBalloon, a website he says is designed to connect like-minded employers and employees.

"I saw a lot of my friends who were running large tech companies who were really using the platform of their employment to push their world view," said Crapuchettes who decided to take a different track.

Employers on the website don't blatantly say they are against mask and vaccine mandates, but reading their company descriptions you might walk away thinking that.

"Obviously, while the vaccine mandate is top of mind for a lot of people right now, I think there is a lot of need for employers and employees who, no matter what side of the issue they land on, they really can focus on freedom."

Employers on the website range from restaurants to fabricators and manufacturers, like Maddox Industrial Transformer in Battle Ground, just north of Vancouver.

"They posted a job and they had 20 applicants immediately for their first job. And they were like, ‘We’ve never experienced this before,'" said Crapuchettes.

He also says he's not worried for himself or the businesses who advertise on his site when it comes to the possibility of getting in trouble for promoting going against the grain of government mandates.

"I’m not super worried about it. A lot of the Biden mandate has already been challenged in court, and a lot of states are pushing back against that. And a lot of the employers who are using Red Balloon are smaller employers who are simply looking for people who want to work. And they’re not going to be concerned about some of those mandates. No," said Crapuchettes. "I actually had an employer post a job on Red Balloon that said their employees needed to be ‘not vaccinated’ for COVID. And that’s not freedom either, because there’s loss of freedom on both sides of the issues."

The Washington Attorney General's office says issues of enforcement will be handled by the governor's office. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) handles complaints that come from the public, so it could be that if employees and employers all see eye-to-eye, and there's little contact with the public, that may never be an issue.

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