Their Founding Mission is Strong and Relevant Today

This nonprofit was founded in 1957 with a mission to “Give Individuals with Disabilities a Chance to Succeed’ by enabling them to participate in the successful work experiences that allow and encourage them to become independent and self-sufficient.

The HCE mission is accomplished because of its strong commitment to giving individuals with disabilities the skills they need to succeed in the workplace. The formal vision lays out the objectives of Hudson Community Enterprises with great clarity:

The goal for this nonprofit is to become the foremost provider of vocational, rehabilitative and social enterprise services to help individuals with disabilities in New Jersey, New York and the entire tri-state area obtain jobs and grow within their chosen field of work as well as to become a leader, setting impeccable standards for other companies, both commercial and nonprofit, so that they, too, can establish social enterprises that benefit individuals with disabilities.

What is a Social Enterprise Business?

The definition of a social enterprise business is based on three main principles that distinguish it from other corporate businesses, including:

  • Upholding social objectives that serve its primary purpose
  • Pursuing endeavors that generate revenues to fund their social causes
  • Setting a goal to maximize opportunities instead of focusing on generating profit, as would be the goal in a traditional business

HCE Delivers High Quality, Business Services

HCE has built a distinctive model that brings a business approach to the nonprofit community, spanning counties that include Hudson, Bergen, Essex, Passaic, Monmouth, Middlesex, Mercer, Burlington, Hunterdon, and Union. To succeed, the integration of a nonprofit organization and its’ for profit social enterprises must draw on multiple sources of funding in the communities it serves. This capital facilitates HCE’s access to the resources it needs to successfully provide a variety of quality services to area businesses.

Local businesses are impressed with the variety of HCE’s capabilities. Their enterprise businesses cover a wide range of essential services such as Document Scanning, Digital Printing, Shredding and Document Destruction, Building and Property Management, and Packaging and Fulfillment.

A Determination to Improve the Community One Person at a Time

As importantly, the organization collaborates with other nonprofit organizations to identify individuals with disabilities and then connect them with employment in the HCE network of social enterprise businesses. By doing so they are able to offer individuals with disabilities the opportunity to pursue meaningful careers, arming them with the necessary training to become independent, self-sufficient, contributing members of the community.

The individuals HCE hires quickly acquire a range of marketable skills in a work-based learning environment. Participating in formal educational programs and gaining on the job exposure can result in a promotion to more a higher skilled job within HCE’s organization or employment in the general labor market in a much more challenging position that would not have been possible prior to employment with HCE. Additionally, while working in these businesses, each individual is able to obtain a recognized post-secondary industry specific credential. This unique caveat demonstrates a new and effective platform for training/employment. In addition to facility-based training, HCE maintains a network of businesses which provide paid and unpaid internships in the field.

The Journey to Meaningful Work is Challenging

The struggle to find worthy employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities is not without significant challenges. Even before the global pandemic struck, the work environment was rapidly changing, with profound advances in technology influencing every aspect of an individual’s job.

Automation and the electronic workplace often replace jobs that previously could be held open for anyone seeking employment. This circumstance is further complicated by accelerating demands that require a greater number of skills sets rather than just one or two.

In order to overcome the obstacles of an increasingly sophisticated work environment, HCE has heavily invested its time and effort into workforce development, emphasizing excellence for all, while seeking to provide individual solutions to complex employment challenges. They are determined to empower the people they serve to direct their own destiny. This means that they will be able to choose whatever jobs they want and work in whatever setting they want, resulting in a win-win situation for all.

There’s More to Come

This organization’s success has resulted from their ability to be nimble, creative and efficient in order to expand the employment prospects for the people they are committed to serve. Their ability to innovate, while remaining true to their core values, is sustained by a passionate Board of Directors and a highly motivated, dedicated and high achieving staff that is dedicated to attaining these two critical goals:

  • Truly helping individuals with disabilities become independent
  • Contributing to society as all profits are invested back into the community

To learn more, we invite you to visit the HCE website.