DePaul Industries Blog

REDF Jobs Study Quantifies Impact of Employment Social Enterprises

March 23, 2015

REDFLogoOne of the major challenges faced by employment social enterprises like DePaul Industries is quantifying impact. While we often use figures like wages paid and permanent positions gained, the overall and long-term impact can be difficult to express. That’s one of the reasons why we were so pleased to see the results of REDF’s Mathematica Jobs Study, released last month.

The study, conducted by Mathematica Policy Research, tracked results at seven REDF-supported employment social enterprises over the course of a year. These enterprises employ people with various barriers to employment, such as people who have been in prison or homeless, or those with mental health disabilities.

Just some of the benefits for individuals who gained work through REDF’s social enterprises include:

• 268% increase in income
• 19 percentage point increase in employment a year later (compared to those not hired by the social enterprise)
• 90% received training to build skills

The study also quantified the benefits to society of the social enterprise approach; see a few highlights in the video below.

City Club of Portland Forum March 3 Will Focus on Benefit Companies

February 24, 2015

City Club of Portland logoAre you interested in prioritizing the triple bottom line in your for-profit business? Do you know the difference between a benefit company and a B Corporation? Want to network with leaders of Oregon benefit companies? Head to Portland’s Hopworks Urban Brewery for the City Club of Portland‘s free Issue Forum: Benefit Companies on Tuesday, March 3.

Our own Travis Pearson, who was recently named President & CEO of DePaul Industries, will serve as a panelist, discussing DePaul Industries’ unique position in the benefit company movement as a nonprofit social enterprise with two wholly-owned for-profit subsidiaries that are benefit companies and B Corps. Other panelists at the forum will represent the Oregon Secretary of State‘s office, Immix Law Group, Celilo Media Group and Hopworks Urban Brewery.

From the City Club:

“Our panelists will discuss the history, creation, and implementation of this game changing new law. Those who manage benefit companies will tell their stories about why they chose to become benefit companies and what their causes and missions are and they will talk about the hardships and pitfalls that they have encountered in achieving and maintaining this designation. The panelists will also clarify the distinction between Oregon Benefit Companies and the similar designation of ‘B’ Corporation.”

The event will run from 6 to 8 p.m. March 3 at Hopworks, 2944 Southeast Powell Blvd., Portland. Visit the City Club of Portland’s website to reserve your seat at this free event.

Join Employers Making Hiring People With Disabilities a Priority

January 29, 2015

HiringPeopleWithDisabilitiesAs the job market continues to improve and unemployment falls, employers in a variety of sectors are having trouble finding qualified employees. They may not realize that they’re overlooking a major pool of qualified candidates, who have low rates of absenteeism and high retention rates: people with disabilities.

As a recent article in Fast Company highlighted, hiring people with disabilities can have a positive impact on a company’s bottom line. , as major companies from Walgreens to Marriott to Pizza Hut have seen. People with disabilities participate in the workforce at a much lower rate than people without disabilities (19% versus 68%), and have nearly twice the unemployment rate of people without disabilities.

Two major national companies have been in the news recently for their proactive efforts to hire people with disabilities. Diversity and inclusion in its workforce is a priority for international engineering company CH2M Hill. As employee Rachel Schneider wrote in a recent Q&A with Think Beyond the Label, “It’s O.K. to be you, especially at CH2M HILL.” CH2M Hill’s accommodations for employees with disabilities include flexible schedules and working remotely, as Schneider does, an accommodation that costs an employer very little but makes a big difference for an employee.

A training program at a Starbucks plant in Nevada also highlights a major employer’s efforts to recruit and hire people with disabilities. Starbucks has partnered with the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR) to create a training program, which includes time both in the classroom and on-the-job. According to Ken Pierson, DETR Business Development Manager, “Companies, like Starbucks, that give individuals with disabilities an opportunity to work often end up with some of their most loyal employees. The investment in training often results in a high retention rate.”

So how do you begin to tap into this pool of qualified workers? FastCompany provides some tips, including making hiring people with disabilities a priority and being a welcoming place to work. Organizations that help people with disabilities get jobs, from nonprofit agencies to alternative staffing firms, are also great resources that can help you diversify your workforce.

Visit DePaul Industries at the NWFPA Expo Jan. 12-14 in Portland

January 2, 2015

NWFPA Expo 2015 LogoJanuary is upon us, meaning it’s time for the largest regional food processing tradeshow in North America, Jan. 12-14, 2015, celebrating its 101st anniversary!

The Northwest Food Processors Expo and Conference at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Oregon, is a great event for anyone who works in or does business with the food processing industry. Some of the highlights we’re looking forward to this year include:

• Browsing the Expo Hall: With more than 400 exhibitors (including us!), there are infinite networking opportunities and much to see and learn. Make sure to stop by the Sample Display to try some products under development, as well as Taste of the Northwest for tastes of new regional products.

• Monday’s Keynote: The former CEO and President of the Leatherman Group will speak about staying competitive as an American producer while not compromising values.

• 2015 Food Safety Modernization Update: This Monday morning session will explore the move from rule-making to implementation for the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), a hot topic operations and management for food processing companies.

DePaul Industries will be exhibiting at Booth 208 in the Expo Hall. We’ll have representatives from our three main divisions (staffing, security and food packaging) to discuss the diverse services we offer to the food processing industry. Whether you need temporary food processing employees, would like assistance with developing a food safety plan that complies with FSMA, or need a co-packer for your food product, you’ll find what you need at our booth. Visit and use the promotional code VIP208 to secure your ticket.

DePaul Industries’ Top 10 Blog Posts of 2014

December 31, 2014

DePaul Industries' Top 10 Blog Posts of 2014
2014 was a big year for DePaul Industries – we established two benefit companies that are both Certified B Corps and saw exciting growth in our staffing, security and packaging divisions. Our most-read blog posts of the year highlight some of our big news, as well as many trends we’ve seen in these industries in 2014.

1. The American CDL Driver Shortage: What You Need to Know
If you’ve recruited CDL drivers recently, you know what a challenging process it can be. Our most-read post of the year looks at the causes, and possible solutions, for this shortage of truck drivers.

2. With Construction Season Ramping Up, Consider Security at Your Worksite
A professional construction presence at security sites, offering services from 24-hour patrols to Fire Watch, is key to keeping a site safe and secure both while workers are present and after hours.

3. Top 10 Tips for Onboarding New Temps
You’ve worked with your temporary staffing agency to have 10 temps starting next week. Now what? A comprehensive onboarding plan is critical to a smooth transition and to productivity and safety.

4. How to Choose a Staffing Agency: Five Key Questions
If you’re utilizing staffing for the first time, you may not be sure how to make sure a staffing agency is the right fit. Don’t worry – ask our five questions to help you find the right fit.

5. 5 Heat Safety Tips for the Workplace This Summer
Many areas of the country saw brutal heat in the summer of 2014. Our heat safety tips help ensure that employees stay safe when the mercury rises.

6. Juniper Naturals: Healthy Snacks, Spices and Infant Formula
In the spring of 2014 we debuted our social enterprise brand of snacks, spices and infant formula, giving customers in both the United States and China a new healthy, socially responsible choice of food brands.

7. Six Affordable Ways to Boost Employee Morale
Perks like gourmet meals and free massages are nice, but you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to show employees you appreciate them. These low-cost ideas include one we offer at DePaul Industries: fresh fruit around the office each day.

8. The Rise of Private Labeling (and What it Means for Your Brand)
Private labeling is all the rage in the food packaging world, with companies “increasingly moving towards offering their own label right next to national brands — and ensuring that it actively competes with them.”

9. Why (and How!) 1,000 Companies Have Become Certified B Corps
The Certified B Corp movement continues to gain steam, as organizations (like yours truly!) recognize the benefits of becoming a B Corp, including quantifying and branding your organization’s dedication to sustainability.

10. Unified Workforce: Work Opportunities for People With Developmental Disabilities
Rounding out the top 10: a feature on our Unified Workforce program, which offers integrated, minimum wage or higher employment opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities at our Hayden Island food packaging facility.


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