“Those with barriers to employment often prove to be the best hire you can make.” This is a mantra that fuels New Ventures, Inc., an organization that employs individuals who have special needs and helps them to find meaningful work. New Ventures equips employees with skills they can use in any job setting. The organization provides a sequential training program that is designed to help people with special needs and other employment barriers integrate into the workforce.
New Ventures describes their objective for the company in saying, “We believe in the dignity of human life and that performing meaningful work is an essential part of a life lived with purpose. Preparation for meaningful work is critical to a smooth transition from education to success in work.” New Ventures is a non-profit organization.
Actress Mayim Bialik took to the web to show support for New Ventures. Bialik, who is also a neuroscientist, has a personal commitment to empowering individuals with special needs. Growing up, Bialik’s father was a drama teacher who went above and beyond to ensure that students with special needs were always given the opportunity to participate in school drama productions. Because of his dedication, other students were able to interact with and learn from students who had special needs, and students with special needs were recognized for their abilities and talents. She shared:
It was the gestures of my father’s tremendous heart that made me understand from a very young age that there is no such thing as too small of an act of empowering people with special needs. My father’s efforts impressed entire classrooms of students who got to have the opportunity to work with other students with special needs and learn about patience and flexibility and talent and trust as an artist. And everyone who saw my father’s plays saw what that meant in action. And the parents of the students he taught with special needs got to see their child have an experience rarely open to them. Those moments of my childhood have stuck with me.
Lately we’ve seen a eureka moment among employers, who are beginning to recognize the productivity and dedication offered by employees who have special needs. Like New Ventures in Georgia, the Prospector Movie House in Connecticut, and Special Kneads and Treats Bakery in Georgia have tapped into the incredible workforce of individuals with special needs. Across the board, employers realize that giving work to these individuals is not an act of charity, but rather a boon to productivity and company success.