How did it all begin?
With a leap of faith.
Employing individuals with special needs to create a blended workforce.
Tom Woodard’s lofty goal of transforming the Americans with Disabilities Act becomes a lot clearer once you see his close-knit team of neurotypical and special needs adults working side-by-side to fulfill hundreds of orders and deliver incredible creative and digital marketing campaigns.
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Making a Difference Together
Woodard Brothers seeks to become a model for businesses looking to create employment opportunities for individuals blessed with special needs.
A social entrepreneur at heart with a head for marketing, Tom quickly realized that their kitting business could become much, much more.
“The need for gainful employment within the special needs community is huge. Adults with disabilities deserve the same meaningful, rewarding, real, and educational opportunities in the workforce that so many of us are privileged to enjoy,” said Tom. “Not only that, but their families need it too. They need someone in their corner because people over the age of 18 with special needs are being left to fend for themselves. One of my greatest regrets is that I can’t hire more people.”
Having just successfully completed a massive kitting job for HealthTrust, one of the largest healthcare purchasing groups in the nation, it’s safe to say that the Woodard Brothers team knows what they’re doing.
To get a sense of the scale and scope of the recent project, consider this: 1500 HealthTrust-branded backpacks arrived at the welcoming warehouse, just days after Hurricane Harvey struck in September. Then, semi truckloads of batteries, Band-Aids, and other essential relief supplies started arriving. In the end, 37,500 items were sorted, packed, and shipped by Tom and his blended workforce. All in less than 48 hours.
Although frustrated with the inherent limitations of the ADA — he’d like to see changes to integrate people with special needs into the workforce and to the number of hours adults with disabilities are eligible to work — Tom is full of optimism and hope. He’s the first to offer words of encouragement, tough love, and to acknowledge a job well-done with an enthusiastic high five.