Social Mission

CONNECT Supply Chain is a member organization of non-profit corporations.  CONNECT and their member organizations are committed to creating employment opportunities for people with disabilities and other barriers to employment for a lifetime of independence and success.

CONNECT corporations accomplish this by establishing programs and services within our facilities and the communities we serve to support the goal of an integrated society. Together, we have been successfully serving this mission for more than 50 years.

Despite having the ability to make significant contributions in the workplace, people with disabilities are often overlooked by traditional employers. As a result, this portion of working age people with disabilities experiences up to a 70% unemployment rate. Obtaining meaningful employment is a key factor in allowing people to be involved in their community, feel that they are a part of something larger, and to be a contributing member of society. Individuals with disabilities face bigger challenges when they begin to seek employment.

CONNECT member corporations help these job seekers to overcome their barriers by focusing on skills and abilities, providing training, mentoring, and reasonable accommodations. CONNECT works with all member organizations to grow their defense and commercial business to provide additional job opportunities to those who once thought a career was out of the question.

Within CONNECT there is a deep commitment to provide employment for our returning Wounded Warriors. 26% of all Iraq (OIF) and Afghanistan veterans (OEF) or both (Gulf War II) reported having a service-connected disability. This represents over 620,000 veterans. The unemployment rate for Gulf War II veterans is 12.1% much higher than the 8.3% unemployment for all veterans.

Through collaboration and partnership, high-quality workmanship, mentoring, and training, CONNECT corporations are providing employment solutions to the complexities of disabilities and barriers. CONNECT understands that disabilities come in all forms, and we meet that need by finding the right fit and the right job for our clients.

CONNECT Supply Chain corporations are all 501(c)3 organizations and are proud members or affiliates of NISH and the AbilityOne Network.

Neil Colomac
Neil Colomac

Neil is a 10 year Army veteran that was severely wounded during the war in Afghanistan resulting in a medical discharge. Neil had major surgery on his shoulder, suffered head wounds and deals with memories of war.  These injuries changed his life forever but you would not know it if you met him.  Neil deals with Memory Loss, Limited Limb Mobility and risk of Seizures daily.

After serving his country and adjusting to disabilities, Neil faced not being able to perform his previous jobs. Neil was a combat Medic and knows construction and vertical engineering like no other.

Neil accepted a job with Sears’s tool department earning minimum wage. Although Neil was grateful for the job it was not stimulating or paying the bills. It seemed a dead end until a CONNECT General Manger walked into Sears and met Neil. Over idle conversation both learned a bit about each other and Neil was introduced to AbilityOne and CONNECT. Neil is now a Quality/Safety Manager at a CONNECT corporation. His story is an example of the challenges Wounded Warriors face struggling to find their place in our nations workforce.

James Kramer

CONNECT member corporations’ success is in large part due to a skilled, diverse, and integrated workforce.   Employee James Kramer, Chemical Lab Technician, graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology with a bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology and Molecular Bioscience.  Through simple accommodations offered to all Skills Inc. Deaf and Hard of Hearing employees, such as Skype, Purple, and access to ASL Interpreters, James is able to effectively communicate with his peers and colleagues in real time.

Pictured: Skills Inc. Programmer, Matt Froman, utilizes Purple Technology to assist in communicating with his co-worker, Chemical Lab Technician, James Kramer.  Assistive technologies like Purple, function, in essence, as a phone for Deaf and hard-of hearing individuals.