By Theresa Chavez
Hostess is one of the world's oldest and largest consumer brands. Best known for its array of sweet treats such as Twinkies and Ho-Hos, the 100-year-old company operates with a socially responsible philosophy to give back to the communities they serve. National disability employment leader SourceAmerica recently partnered with Hostess to create jobs for people with disabilities, a segment of the population that is too often left out of the U.S. workforce. According to the latest statistics, over 70 percent of people with disabilities between the ages of 18-64 are not employed.
Opportunities, Inc., which is part of SourceAmerica's nearly 800-member network of nonprofits that employ people with disabilities, is fulfilling a new packaging contract with Hostess. What's unique about Opportunities, Inc. and all of the nonprofits in SourceAmerica's network is that their work environments are inclusive of all abilities. Job functions are tweaked to be accessible and on-the-job training is provided as needed. With Hostess as a new commercial partner, SourceAmerica adds another major global brand to its list of companies that want to be part of something bigger: helping people with disabilities in not only obtaining employment, but also making sure they have the support systems in place to achieve their maximum career potential.
SourceAmerica business development executive David Ricciardi has worked closely with Hostess leadership and Opportunities, Inc. throughout the contract's implementation.
"Hostess has a deep appreciation for what SourceAmerica does," Ricciardi said. "We were able to meet the customer's price requirements and Opportunities, Inc. is able to prove their capabilities, as well as the capabilities of their workforce, in handling large volumes of the Hostess product. It's a win-win."
SourceAmerica Senior Program Manager David Brent, who has contributed to the overall relationship with Hostess, recently visited Opportunities, Inc. and saw their employees with disabilities hard at work on the contract fulfilling orders.
"The employees were very excited to have the opportunity to support such a popular brand like Hostess," Brent said. "It's our goal to not only meet but exceed our customer's expectations and hopefully grow this very positive partnership."
SourceAmerica's Chief Operating Officer Steve Krotonsky and Senior Vice President of Operations Joe Diaz recently met with Hostess leadership to discuss future opportunities.
"We couldn't be more pleased that a world-class brand like Hostess is aligned with SourceAmerica's mission," Krotonsky said. "Our relationship is a testament to Hostess's commitment to enabling all people, including people with disabilities, to have employment options that are both meaningful and self-sustaining."