"NTI appreciates the opportunity the grant offers to look beyond immediate needs and develop more effective and efficient systems to locate, approach, train, and place people with disabilities that prevent them from working outside the home in legitimate jobs."
Kessler Foundation Awards $250,000 Grant to NTI for Two-year Pilot Program to Enhance Systems for Matching Americans with Disabilities to Work-at-home Jobs.
Kessler Foundation, a public charity dedicated to improving quality of life for individuals with disabilities, has awarded a prestigious $250,000 Signature Employment Grant to NTI. NTI is a nonprofit organization that places Americans with disabilities who live anywhere in the United States in work-at-home jobs, such as customer service agent jobs in virtual contact centers. It will use the grant in a two-year pilot program to explore technologies and methods to leverage its scarce resources so that its staff can match a larger average number of aspirants to real jobs.
Elaine Katz, Kessler Foundation's Vice President of Grant Programs and Special Initiatives, explained, "NTI offers a creative approach that addresses the objectives of our grants - enabling people with disabilities to overcome obstacles to employment while meeting the workforce needs of American business. NTI's proposal outlined a cost-effective strategy that will result in more job opportunities per budget dollar, with a nationwide scope." NTI is unique in its ability and objective of finding jobs for individuals with disabilities regardless of where they live in the U.S.
NTI appreciates the opportunity the grant offers to look beyond immediate needs and develop more effective and efficient systems to locate, approach, train, and place people with disabilities that prevent them from working outside the home in legitimate jobs. Alan Hubbard, NTI's COO, conveyed some of the excitement NTI's staff feels about the pilot program. "We're good at stretching a dollar. But now we have a little extra breathing room, a window to explore how we might put three people in jobs for every individual we could place before under previous time, software, and personnel constraints. We put people in jobs. We just want to put many more in with the same effort."
NTI has already outlined some of the technology, infrastructure, and methodologies it wants to explore with the grant. Its operations team, some of whom bring workflow and production planning experience from Silicon Valley semiconductor firms, has highlighted all the areas on its internal processes "special sauce" flowchart where they have a chance to "turn up the volume." Hubbard explains, "We were sure we had the method. Now, thanks to Kessler Foundation, we have the means."
NTI, a 501(c)(3) non-profit disability organization, pioneered staffing virtual call centers with Americans with disabilities who work from home. It provides highly qualified "NTI Certified" American-speaking agents to both commercial and government organizations, such as the IRS. For more information, visit www.NTIcentral.Org.
Kessler Foundation Program Center fosters new approaches to the persistently high rates of unemployment among people disabled by injury or disease. Targeted grant making funds promising programs across the nation. Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, people recovering from catastrophic injuries and stroke, and young adults striving for independence are among the thousands of people finding jobs and training for careers as a result of the commitment of Kessler Foundation.
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