A second chance company
Nehemiah Manufacturing was founded in 2009 in Cincinnati, USA with the mission to build brands, create jobs, and change lives. Led by a team of executives with a proven track record of business who share a passion for making a positive impact in their community, they work in the middle of neighbourhoods with high unemployment and limited entry-level job opportunities.
Many employees who come to Nehemiah Manufacturing just need a chance to prove themselves. They may show up with a spotty work history – or no work history – or a record blemished in some way. People that have a criminal record or history of drug or alcohol addiction. These hard-to-hire candidates are invisible to most companies but not to Nehemiah. because they know giving people a chance is the right thing to do.
The rewards over the past five years have been amazing. In this group, they find some of the hardest working people they’ve ever seen. In proving themselves, these employees become fiercely loyal – insistent on high quality; positive teamers who help each other. It is a family.
Here is Stephanie's story:
"I grew up running the streets of Columbus at a young age, just me against the world. My family, we were close but dysfunction was our norm. I grew up in a violent home that was centered around selling drugs, which turned me into someone who had no regard for authority. There was never a question about me getting into drugs, it was expected. Drugs were the way of life that led me out of school but made me feel belong to the street life. Carefree but violent, everyone was making illegal money selling drugs. I ended up using cocaine at age 22 as a social user and surrounded myself with enablers that I can manipulate so that I had an endless supply. What started as a street smart that satisfied my need turned into something uncontrollable. I was going places that I did not want to go and doing things that I did not want to do. I was reaching a reall emotional and spiritual bottoms. As I had been in and out of institutions and jails, I knew how to do time. But when I was imprisoned at age 38, I broke down and surrendered.
"I thought I needed a Bible and asked for one. I just started reading. When I was released from prison for the last time, I heard about Nehemiah. I had encountered this name through a book about an incarcerated girl and Israel’s imprisonment in exile. This seemed like God’s guidance.
"Although I was skeptical of factory work, I found that it was a place of healing and restoration. If I had to describe Nehemiah in one word, it would be grace because when society deems us that we are out of chances, Nehemiah gives us another chance. People here do not look at me with any assumption: even the CEO doesn’t look at me any different. Nehemiah gives so much more than a paycheck. I’m in an entrepreneurship program now. With what I had been given, I now try to be a beacon of hope for others.
"Thanks to Nehemiah I was able to turn my life around completely and I thank God everyday for that. My dreams and desires are different now. Recently, I was accepted into Cincinnati Christian University and am planning on starting there to get two degrees, one in Business Management and the other in Bible Studies. I have also reconnected with my mother and now we pull each other up when we fall, and swap devotionals regularly. I never thought a relationship like this was possible with her. I never believed I was truly special until all of the people at Nehemiah built me up and believed in me. This place is remarkable, and so is God."
Nehemiah feels they can play a critical role in the initiative around their city to try and eradicate poverty. When they are helping a mum or dad who are trying to get back to work, it really can impact the whole family. Those people are adding to society, to the value of their community instead of detracting from it. They become productive - they're feeling good about themselves.
Watch this 5 minute video about their culture:
Is your company, a company of second chances?
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Geoff Knott, 08/07/2020