Second-chance employer Nehemiah Manufacturing expands to Lower Price Hill

CINCINNATI — The smell of turkey and all the Thanksgiving toppings filled the air inside Nehemiah Manufacturing’s cafeteria on Tuesday — cause for celebration as it was the company’s first time hosting its annual luncheon. for employees since the start of the pandemic.

It is also a cause for gratitude.

“When I walked through the doors of Nehemiah, there was hope. There was opportunity,” said Michael Taylor, a 10-year employee at Nehemiah Manufacturing.

While many focus on grabbing seconds, Taylor said he was grateful for the “second chance” provided by Nehemiah Manufacturing.

“My background was drug addiction, alcoholism, which culminated in two felonies for breaking and entering,” he said. “To be able to change your life when you saw no hope at the time, it means the world to me to have that second chance.”

Nehemiah Manufacturing started in 2009 with a mission: to build brands, create jobs and change lives. Eric Wellinghoff, the company’s chief marketing officer, said they were doing the latter in a unique way.

“We are one of the first nationwide to agree to hire second-chance employees – people who are otherwise hard to hire, a barrier to employment, primarily a crime on their record, where d ‘Other people wouldn’t even consider them for a job,’ Wellinghoff said. “What we’ve found is that these employees have become our most loyal, hardworking and best employees we could have. It’s great for the community and great for business.”

He said about 150 of the 200 employees working for the company are considered “second chance” workers.

Nehemiah Manufacturing has grown over the past decade largely through a relationship with Cincinnati-based Proctor & Gamble. Nehemiah manages the production, marketing and sale of cleaning, baby care and fabric care products.

Wellinghoff said the company’s goal is to help the Lower Price Hill area. In 2019, Nehemiah revitalized a building there, creating a $13 million warehouse.

The company doubled down on Friday with a groundbreaking ceremony on a second facility, a $5 million distribution center.

“With COVID and the growth of e-commerce, we’ve discovered that’s another place where we can add value to the supply chain,” Wellinghoff said.

The addition of the facility will also create between 25 and 30 jobs, or 30 additional lives that could be affected.

“It has a ripple effect — affects their life, their family’s life,” Taylor said. “It means a lot to be able to keep growing and to keep helping people.”

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