Imagine packaging and distributing a product that is not only healthy for consumers, but automatically generates an ever-increasing demand for U.S. based jobs. Sound a little too idealistic? Well….that’s just exactly what one small business owner has accomplished through non-profit and corporate collaboration and innovative community teambuilding ideas.
Ned Heagerty, President of Silk Road Teas – a wholesale importer of rare and artisan teas, believes in quality products and bringing jobs from overseas back to the U.S. He imports full-flavored, organic teas from China for re-sale to tea and coffee companies, specialty grocers, and tea drinkers throughout the U.S.
But here’s the best part…
Once the tea arrives in the U.S. he then has the tea packaged locally by adults challenged with mental and physical disabilities through a local non-profit organization, Ceres Community Project. Silk Road Tea’s “hand in hand” program is an initiative to create jobs locally for these individuals. In an economic climate that needs to generate between 185,000 – 200,000 jobs monthly to significantly reduce unemployment, Heagerty proves to be an instrumental “cog in the wheel” when it comes to putting people to work.
For-Profit and Non-Profit Collaboration Goes Hand-in-Hand
Mr. Heagerty doesn’t hesitate to give back to his community either. Silk Road Teas’ “hand in hand” program donates a percentage of its sales to Ceres’ Community Project, a non-profit organization striving to create a healthy community around wholesome foods and nourishing meal preparation to sustain families struggling with the challenges of serious illness.
“We want to create optimism about the future by creating jobs in our business and our community,” said Heagerty. “A key measure of our success will be in how many jobs we create for this very special community of adults that need inclusion in the workforce.”
Spreading the Job Creation Wealth
Ned Heagerty won’t stop with job creation just in his own community. Many specialty grocers have expressed the desire to carry his full-flavored, higher grade teas in their stores. Ned is quick to send interested grocers the prototypes of his packaging with the understanding they are to contract the packaging and boxing to local non-profits in their communities…thus creating a domino effect in job creation. Job creation going “viral” if you will.
Ned is a small business owner making a big impact in job stimulation throughout communities nationwide. He operates Silk Road Teas based on philanthropic and strong core values. He intends to expand his line with the introduction of additional teas and herbals in the first quarter of 2014. This can mean only one thing…Ned Heagerty will simultaneously stimulate more job opportunities for the disabled in many of our communities.
Kudos Mr. Heagerty….corporate America could learn a thing or two from innovators such as yourself. Happy Chinese New Year and it has to feel really great waking up in the morning knowing you are making a difference.
Here’s another example of the type of people who benefit from businesses like those Ned Heagerty has developed.
Copyright TIGERS Success Series by Dianne Crampton
TIGERS helps leaders and consultants build high performance teams of employee who enjoy coming to work on Monday Morning. We do this with our proprietary and research-based team development model composed of six universal principles. These principles are trust, interdependence, genuineness, empathy, risk and success. They form the acronym TIGERS and are measurable in group behavior. We offer the TIGERS 360 Team Diagnostic Survey and a series of facilitation methods designed to bring out the very best in your team.