Beacon of Hope History
The story of Beacon of Hope is closely linked with that of Nehemiah Manufacturing and its founders: Dan Meyer and Richard Palmer. With years of experience in multi-national Consumer Packaged Goods companies and as an entrepreneur, Dan teamed up with strategic business planner Richard Palmer in 2008 to create a company that would bring needed change to the Cincinnati community. Together, Dan and Richard went to city government, social services, and community leadership to ask the question – what do you need most that we can provide? The answer came back: jobs for the hard-to-hire. In 2009, Nehemiah Manufacturing was intentionally established in Cincinnati’s West End to bring hope for hard-to-hire individuals. This hope came in the form of stable, entry-level jobs, whole life coaching, and a heart to help.
The mission – Build Brands. Create Jobs. Change Lives.
With the support of Procter & Gamble, Nehemiah licensed several of P&G’s smaller brands and was successful in regaining upward sales momentum and growth, year after year. The original business model was to match one hard-to-hire employee with two clean-record hires. The expectation at the time was that this approach would yield a cost of 3 employees and the production of 2.5 employees. As they carried out the plan, they discovered a dramatic shift in the outcome – the cost of those 3 employees was generating an output of 4! It wasn’t always a smooth road, and Dan and Richard learned from their mistakes along the way. However, over the years they discovered that many social service organizations are equipped to prepare these citizens for the work force, post-incarceration.
Today, Nehemiah employs roughly 110 individuals in their production and warehousing operations with an upwards of 85% of those being hard-to-hire employees. COO, Mike Pachko comments, “These employees sometimes carry the baggage of a troubled past. But I’ll tell you, the ones who appreciate the second chance and are open to change become super-workers. For performance and positive spirit, I’d put our manufacturing team up against anyone – anywhere.”
Each year on average 2,500 people return to Hamilton County from incarceration. This supply of talent vastly exceeds the ability of Nehemiah to offer each Returning Citizen a job. In 2015, with an effort to combat this issue, Dan and Richard set into motion plans to team with other businesses to provide these critically needed jobs. In April, they assembled leaders from businesses, the government, the Church, and social services to kick off the Beacon of Hope Business Alliance.
The mission over time is to expose 2,500 new jobs each year to the Fair Chance population by creating awareness, providing a proven process and by providing easy access to an ecosystem of social support. Along the way, numerous businesses have discovered success in this space, while helping to create change on a dramatically larger scale than any single company ever could.
The Beacon of Hope
Business Alliance is here.
CHANGE IS UNDERWAY.
Everyone who needs a Second Chance to work and change their life – gets that chance.
To expose 2500 Second Chance job opportunities in Hamilton County each year by inspiring and equipping employers to embrace this cause.
INSPIRE more companies to provide Second Chance employment
RAISE AWARENESS of the need and proven business benefits
LEVERAGE ECOSYSTEM of social services and incentives for Second Chance support
SHARE BEST PRACTICES and resources
Membership with the Beacon of Hope Business Alliance is free. However, you can still support us in our mission to bring about greater awareness, to engage a social service ecosystem, and to share resources to change lives and enhance our community. We hope that the categories listed below give you a better idea of just how beneficial your membership could be.
EVERYONE DESERVES A SECOND CHANCE
At some point in your life, you have critically needed a second chance – we all have. It is human to make mistakes and because of this, justice holds a crucial place in our society. However, it is also human to seek mercy, forgiveness, and to help build each other back up. It’s simply the right thing to do.
LOWER TURNOVER/ HIGHER PRODUCTION
When we are given second chances, we have more to prove. Because of this, we have found some of the hardest working, most appreciate, and most dedicated employees through Second Chance Hiring. As an example, the annual turnover rate for the Beacon of Hope company with the greatest Second Chance population, Nehemiah Manufacturing, is 15% (a quarter of the traditional rate). Read about the success in reducing turnover from one of our Social Service Partners, Cincinnati Works, in the Harvard Business Review.
CHANGE LIVES: HIRE ONE, AFFECT 14
When you offer a job that builds confidence and ultimately leads to self-sufficiency, you elevate more than just one human spirit. You affect the lives of everyone who loves and is intimately connected to that person – children, parents, siblings, family, friends, neighbors. The transformation has a ripple effect.
STRONGER ECONOMY/ SMALLER PRISONS
The annual cost of housing a prisoner in Ohio is $24,700. When employers provide jobs for those out of prison and back in society, they contribute self-sufficiency and stability – two factors that weigh heavily in helping avoid repeat offenses. The effect on our community and economy is twice as impactive.
HAVE A SPECIFIC QUESTION?
If you have thoughts, questions, or comments on how you can engage with the mission of Beacon of Hope, please fill out the comment box below and someone will be in touch.