NDX’s NDEAM Recap – October 2020

A certified Veteran-Owned staffing company that’s been in business since 1991, first as New Dimension and then as NDX Human Capital Solutions, people aren’t just their “business”; people are their passion.

The company’s motto says it all: “It’s always about people.”

But this motto isn’t just an appealing way of trying to get a client’s business; this motto is the heart and soul of NDX Human Capital Solutions and their latest venture: matching eager candidates, who happen to have a disability, with companies in need of employees.

This new endeavor stemmed out of a desire to use the knowledge that brothers Chris and Steve Mitchell acquired as a parent and grandparent of children with disabilities; one profoundly Deaf and one with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Like all parents and grandparents wanting the best for their children and grandchildren and finding a lack in the education available to them, they began to research how to raise confident, happy, and productive kids who were challenged with a disability. It was imperative that they understood the accessibility available to People with Disabilities, (PwD’s) not only in school but also in the world at large. Reading books, taking classes, and attending seminars they became better advocates for their families. Knowledge shapes perspective which drives actions, leading to serving on school boards, parent advisory boards, and even bringing legislation forward in Lansing, Michigan.

From their unique perspectives and personal experiences, both Chris and Steve knew that people with disabilities were being underutilized in the workforce and could be placed in meaningful positions. An idea began to take shape: Why couldn’t NDX be a catalyst for bringing together clients who were looking for employees, with an underleveraged workforce. A workforce that data reveals is more reliable, with fewer absences [1], and a 20-30% reduced turnover rate? [2] NDX could help facilitate opportunities for PwD’s to contribute fully to society while gaining much needed confidence and independence that is so regularly taken for granted by those without disabilities.

A growing need arose in the United States—Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)—to combat the new novel coronavirus that was overtaking the country in early 2020. An idea that had been brewing for some time—placing PwD’s into stable employment—now had an opportunity to come to fruition. In March 2020, General Motors announced that it was going to start making face masks for frontline workers to help with the shortage of PPE. [3] NDX proposed to pilot program with General Motors and the Autism Alliance of Michigan (AAoM) to employ PwD’s to help with this important venture. General Motors eagerly agreed and six self-identified people with Autism working with AAoM were contracted to GM through NDX to be a part of “Project M” [4], GM’s COVID-19 effort.

Two such people, Nathan Driefus and Ian Sterrett, worked in Project M at General Motors to help with the new mask operations. Ian noted that he felt “well suited to his role on the mask production line because he likes staying busy and enjoys being part of a team working toward a shared goal.” [5] Nathan, when asked, said that he liked the “friendly environment” and noted that he was forming good relationships with his coworkers. [6] Nathan and Ian were more than just people with disabilities while working in Project M; they were qualified, capable, and accepted employees.

NDX is proud to have played a vital role in landing positions for these six individuals!

Why does it make so much sense to tap into this unique workforce?

Let’s look at some statistics:

  • 61 million adults in the United States are living with a disability. [7]
  • 19.3% of people with a disability were employed in the US in 2019. While 66.3% of people without a disability were employed in the US in 2019. [8]
  • 13 million people with disabilities are eager to work but unable to secure employment or are under-employed. [9]
  • 92% of consumers feel more favorable toward companies that hire people with disabilities and 87% of consumers agreed they would prefer to do business with companies that employed people with disabilities. [10]

But beyond the statistics, people with disabilities are more than capable and qualified to fill roles in your company! With effort and an investment of time on the front end, preparing current staff, as well as some research to understand the candidates unique approaches and needs, the dividends can be exponential.

  1. https://www.forbes.com/sites/judyowen/2012/05/12/a-cost-benefit-analysis-of-disability-in-the-workplace/?sh=37cc780a3501
  2. https://chicagolighthouse.org/sandys-view/top-5-benefits-hiring-people-disabilities/
  3. https://www.clickondetroit.com/news/local/2020/03/31/general-motors-to-make-face-masks-for-frontline-workers-amid-coronavirus-pandemic/
  4. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/03/gm-ford-fca-creating-new-arsenal-of-health-to-fight-coronavirus.html
  5. https://twitter.com/GM/status/1322193870533332993
  6. Ibid.
  7. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/disabilityandhealth/infographic-disability-impacts-all.html#:~:text=61%20million%20adults%20in%20the,is%20highest%20in%20the%20South.
  8. https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/disabl.pdf
  9. Ibid.
  10. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/228675339_A_national_survey_of_consumer_attitudes_towards_companies_that_hire_people_with_disabilities

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