How did your company come to find RLA?
When SourceAmerica began investigating how to better market the skills of our workforce of people with disabilities outside of the public sector, we found RLA. Assistant Vice President of Commercial Sales and Operations Gene Ficarra recommended we become members. He was familiar with the organization and saw it as an effective means for finding commercial clients who would benefit from the wide range of services our member nonprofits offer in the reverse logistics space.
Why did your company decide to become a member?
We know that RLA is at the forefront of this industry, which is a critical source for expanding SourceAmerica’s mission of creating employment opportunities and choices for people with disabilities. Through RLA events and media, we’re able to better identify how our nonprofit network can meet the needs of a wide range of clients. The networking opportunities are extremely effective at introducing our mission and line of services to a client base we’re working diligently to build. We’re well known in the governmental sector, but commercial clients are less familiar with SourceAmerica. The connections we make through RLA are supporting mission expansion and revenue sources for member nonprofits that do such wonderful work in their local communities.
With the rise in e-commerce and recycling, the demand for reverse logistics continues to increase. It’s really at the forefront of economic growth. At SourceAmerica, we see those services as a natural fit for so many members of our diverse workforce. That’s why we’re a SERI R2 Leader; we recognize the importance and potential of this industry not just as a business, but from our nonprofit mission perspective.
How has being a long time Member been beneficial to your company?
Our membership in RLA has been an effective and important foundation for growing our business outside of the public sector. Through the relationships we’re building with other RLA members, new business partnerships are flourishing. That means more people with disabilities are enjoying the dignity of work and the independence that brings as we all work to better use existing resources and find new life for old products.
What parts of the RLA Membership do you find most beneficial?
We appreciate being part of a professional group committed to a common cause. RLA is where we know we’ll find other businesses, organizations and leaders who recognize the benefits of working together so that everyone benefits. We learn the latest information from RLA publications and the website, and we meet the right people at events. It’s hard to pinpoint a single aspect of the membership that’s most beneficial.
Why does your company attend our seminars/conferences, not just as an attendee, but as a participant/speaker/exhibitor?
In addition to creating employment opportunities for people with disabilities, we’re actively working to change the way the general public sees the talent in our workforce. We’re combatting some negative stereotypes and stigmas that have been part of our popular culture for far too long, the idea that people with disabilities have limits that people who do not have a disability do not. When we share our mission and services with fellow RLA members, we’re sharing our understanding of and experience of a talented, capable and reliable workforce that contributes to our society in more ways that most people realize.
We appreciated the chance for Senior Sales Manager David Brent to speak at the RLA Conference and Expo in Vegas. The crowd was very receptive to learning more about not just the way our workforce supports corporate social responsibility, but how it meets the needs of clients from a wide variety of industries across the country.
Tell us about one opportunity your company has benefited from and grown because of RLA.
SourceAmerica has found a true partner with RLA while we participate in their yearly conferences they have offered their hospitality in sharing time at their booth at Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas for the past several years. Tony’s team is doing an outstanding job in growing the association and providing news, introduction to contacts and current events information that is valuable to all members.