Tucked away in Cincinnati there is a company whose mission serves a purpose greater than their products. Nehemiah Manufacturing is more than a business that produces family favorites like Boogie Wipes and Downy Balls. It is a ministry. A ministry that works with people having a difficult time finding employment. By providing jobs to those who need them the most, Nehemiah has found the most loyal, dedicated and hard-working employees. Nehemiah goes beyond providing jobs as they have implemented an infrastructure of support for their team members. Here is an inside look into Nehemiah Manufacturing’s great products and people.
The mission statement is clear from the moment you step foot inside the door, “Build Brands, Create Jobs, and Change Lives”. The ambiance of family is felt throughout the entire building from the receptionist to the assembly line. It is powered by CEO Dan Meyer, who lives and breaths every word of the mission. His philosophy of one day, one person, make a difference every single time, is one that should be adopted throughout the business world. “Take care of the people and they take care of the customer.” Dan stated when asked about his business practice. And they do take care of their people.
Digging a little deeper we learned why the company’s name “Nehemiah” supports its mission. Nehemiah was a prophet in the Old Testament. He was a remarkable leader who cared for his people and was instrumental in getting the people of Jerusalem to rebuild the walls to protect their city. Like Nehemiah, they felt called to help rebuild Cincinnati by giving people jobs and a renewed hope for the future.
What Makes Nehemiah Manufacturing Different
By working with people who are hard to hire based on no work history, criminal backgrounds or have struggled with addiction, they have given these individuals hope. For those coming out of a correctional facility the number one variable of them going back is if they can secure a decent job. Of those who don’t, 60% end up back in prison.
It takes more than offering a job to put people on the pathway of success. It takes an extensive support system that includes programs that directly affect the everyday lives of employees. Here is a list of a few of the services provided to Nehemiah employees:
- Social Workers on staff
- Medical Clinic for employees and their families (soon to open)
- Back-to-school book bags and school supplies for team member’s families
- Financial help for continuing education
- Cincinnati Bengal Game Day
- Christmas Day with Santa and gifts for team members and their families
- 75% of insurance paid by Nehemiah
- 401 K with matching funds
- Working with City Link, City Gospel Mission and more to assist team members
- Job Coach to have someone walk them through on this journey
- Panel vans to help transport people to and from their jobs
- Fitness room complete with showers
By implementing impactful programs Nehemiah experiences a turnover rate of 10-15% which is unheard of in the manufacturing world. This comes full circle in that the employees are fiercely loyal and will go above and beyond for the company and its customers.
In the event there is not a job available at Nehemiah when a person applies, they have created the Beacon of Hope Alliance that includes other employers who have adopted their mission.
The highlight of my visit to Nehemiah was the employees. One powerful story after the next of how they have and still are overcoming challenges from mistakes they made earlier in life. Micheal, the current Operations Manager, shared his story of overcoming a heroin addiction. During his addiction he made regrettable life choices that ultimately led him to spending time behind bars.
Upon being released depression began to sat in as hope of getting a job that treated him like a human being began to diminish. Micheal stated that ” I am not a bad person, I just did bad things and just needed a second chance.” After his mother dragged him to church after threatening to kick him out that he met Randy, who told him to apply at Nehemiah. Call it divine intervention, but that was the only day Randy visited Micheal’s parish, as he was looking for a new church home for his family. Micheal started as a temp and worked his way up to Operations Manager. He even met his wife at Nehemiah, who recently opened her own cleaning business and is hiring second chance.
I had the opportunity to work the line and was immediately embraced like one of the family. They taught me tricks to make production go quicker and more efficient, told me a little about their lives and we shared in a few laughs as I looked like the factory scene out of I Love Lucy.
Upon hearing all about the fabulous brands that are made right here in Cincinnati, I was flabbergasted. My daughters beloved Boogie Wipes and Kandoo Wipes are local products! What is even better is knowing that when I purchase one of these brands I am helping in creating jobs for those in need of second chance. Here are some of the other great products that Nehemiah produces:
- Downy Wrinkle Releaser
- Febreze in Wash
- Downy Balls
- Saline Soothers
- Boogie Wipes
- Kandoo Wipes
How Can You Help
By buying the brands that Nehemiah produces you are helping the company support and grow. Growth means more jobs becoming available to people in need of a second chance. Treat yourself to that Downy Ball or buy the bigger tub of Boogie Wipes. Each purchase will have a positive effect that makes a lasting impression.
I would like to thank Nehemiah Manufacturing for hosting my visit. As always all opinions are my own.
Looking for more behind the scenes tours? Check Out our Hard Hat Tour at Union Terminal.