Opportunity: JVS Chicago Seeks Social Enterprise Partner

A force for social justice, JVS Chicago is a 501C(3) non-profit serving more than 5,000 employees, employers and entrepreneurs annually with programs for adults, youth, and people with disabilities.

The Opportunity: Employees with disabilities offer a large untapped talent pool for employers.  While business is challenged with an aging workforce and a shortage of skilled workers, individuals with disabilities continue to be underemployed. Our goal is to partner with an inspired entrepreneur/business leader to develop a new entity to generate revenue and create employment opportunities for people with disabilities. As an integral part of its value proposition, the social enterprise will commit to creating public benefit in addition to generating profit.

The Partnership: JVS Chicago is looking to partner with a strategically aligned organization to develop a social enterprise that serves the community and provides employment and training for persons with disabilities. This private-nonprofit partnership model of social enterprise will be a mutually beneficial business partnership or joint venture between a for-profit company and a nonprofit organization (JVS Chicago). The partnership may occur with an existing business, or may result in the creation of a new entity or profit center. The new social enterprise will offer a market-tested product or service and be mission-aligned with JVS Chicago, leveraging the agency’s assets, relationships with its target population, community, brand, and expertise.

The Business Case for Hiring People with Disabilities*

Advantages for Employers

  • Reduced Turnover. Workers with disabilities are not “job hoppers” and are inclined to remain in their jobs longer than the general workforce.
  • Lower Costs. Reduced costs throughout the workplace due to less turnover and retraining.
  • Enhanced Productivity. The company as a whole experiences improved morale and productivity.
  • New Markets. Employees with disabilities help the company fine-tune their products to meet the needs of other individuals with disabilities.
  • Reduced Expenses. $1 spent on reasonable accommodations results in a positive return on investment.

Employing Staff with Disabilities Affect Customers

  • New Customers. The majority of customers prefer to do business with companies that employ people with disabilities.
  • Increased Revenue. People with disabilities comprise 1/5 of the U.S. population, globally 1.3 billion and with their 2.3 billion family members command $8 trillion in spending power.
  • Repeat Business. 92% of customers are more likely to repeat support to companies known to hire people with disabilities.

Persons with Disabilities Are Strong Candidates

  • Lower Turnover. Employees with disabilities have equal or better turnover and absentee rates than employees without disabilities.
  • Flexible Scheduling. Employees with disabilities have equal or better safety records, job performance ratings, and job assignment flexibility.
  • Equal Supervision: On average, employees with disabilities require an equal amount of supervision as employees without disabilities.

Partner with us!

If you have a business idea and/or are interested in exploring this social enterprise start-up that will make an impact in people’s lives, please contact:

Kathleen Gerhold, MPPA
Senior Director, Career & Employment Services
JVS Chicago | 216 West Jackson, #700 | Chicago, IL  60606
312.673.3233

At JVS Chicago we believe that work transforms lives, and that helping people to find jobs helps them live better lives. We are committed to making the world a better place by providing opportunities to job seekers from all walks of life, helping them achieve self-sufficiency through employment. To create sustainable programs, we bring together the resources of the Jewish Federation, government, business and community.

*Source: http://cdd.unm.edu/pfe/pdfs/making-the-business-case.pdf

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