A new Plymouth nonprofit is a year old and continues to grow. A few local business owners got together and came up with an idea for a nonprofit that creates jobs using donations and online auctions.
The nonprofit called Jobs Foundation helps people like Josh Wilson.
"It has really changed my life," said Wilson, who has been working in his new job or almost seven months.
Wilson says his job at the new Jobs Foundation in Plymouth gave him more than a steady paycheck with a livable wage. "I love that Jobs Foundation gave me another chance to prove who I really am," said Wilson.
Wilson had a hard time finding work beyond minimum wage jobs after a conviction and jail sentence. He found the Jobs Foundation after a friend referred him there.
The unique nonprofit provides jobs for underserved adults by selling new and donated furniture online and through a new showroom in a Plymouth warehouse. Every part of the business provides a learning experience for the 13 employees who work there.
"There's a myriad of different things to learn here," said Dupree Logan, the program manager who oversees daily operations as well as hiring and mentoring new employees. Logan has watched the employees and warehouse space more than triple in the past year.
"Anything that will provide jobs for people and make life better, that's what we intend to do."
Jobs Foundation has three components that make up its business model. It sells new and barely used furniture in a brand new furniture outlet. It also partners with other nonprofits like PRISM and Courage Center to pick up donations and sell them through online auctions. Finally, it recycles old donated computers by deconstructing them and cashing in on the precious metals inside.
Operations manager Carl Johnson says he's been with the company since day two. He now oversees donations and paperwork.
"I used to do construction and now I'm responsible for getting donations in the door," said Johnson.
Johnson says he looked for a job for months, but because of his previous convictions he couldn't find any work beyond minimum wage. Johnson says not only has he learned new marketing skills, but the job has given people like him a future with more possibilities.
Josh Wilson agrees.
"It's giving me a chance and the opportunity to be who I really am," said Wilson. "That's why I love it so much."
Shannon Slatton, reporting
Monday, June 06, 2011