Finding work and creating jobs

We have launched our pilot program in Kenya, where a team of six recently assembled to begin training and working.  It was an exciting first step toward accomplishing our goal of creating jobs for 2,000 people with disabilities in the next 5 years.

This start has had it’s challenges and rewards.  Our first internet connection wasn’t as reliable as I had hoped, a big issue when you expect to provide online work, but a new connection seems to have solved that. The team has finished the first round of work tests and I’ve been very pleased and encouraged by their results.  I was told repeatedly that accuracy was going to be an issue and they have met and exceeded my expectations.  The first assignment had only one error.

One interesting aspect of what we are trying is that we provide housing for the team.  They have apartments with kitchenettes, but they’ve decided to prepare meals together to share responsibility and resources. I’m proud of the way they have bonded as a team and have supported each other.

We will complete another week or two of training, much of which will be unfamiliar work for them. I’m beginning to understand what our work capacity will be, as a team of six, but the next round of training will really help to refine and improve our capabilities.

I travel to Kenya at the end of the month. I’m excited to meet the whole team and spend some time working together.  I’ve met Daniel, the team leader who is doing a great job, but it will be really good to get to know everyone else. They will set the tone and pace for the next round of hires and it’s my job to make sure they are properly equipped and motivated to lead that growth.

From here, it is a matter of finding and creating work for the team.

We will find work. I will begin trying to find companies and organizations that will appreciate the significance of the opportunity we are providing, the work we are doing, and the value we are offering.

We will create jobs. We are also developing software that we will use internally and that we will market as SaaS products. Software as a Service products will be slower growth, but we have the chance to create stable design, developer, marketing, and customer service jobs.

Please stay tuned for updates, pray for continued team unity, and share what we’re doing. Thanks for reading.

Updates at The Final Step

We are close to launching a pilot program in Naivasha, Kenya, where we will begin testing everything we’d like to accomplish with The Final Step.  The updates and details are as follows:

  • We will be bringing outsourcing opportunities to East Africa to create jobs.
  • We’ve put together a team of five people with disabilities that will begin work, performing a number of jobs in common outsourcing areas, for example, data entry work, image processing work, website support work, or similar typing work.
  • We will be performing business process outsourcing work for clients, but we are also producing some of the work ourselves; we’re building subscription software that will rely on the team to fulfill.
  • Travel to work can be difficult and many individuals don’t have adequate resources to work from home, so we are providing housing where the workers will come to stay and work during the week.
  • The apartments have been renovated and furniture is being moved in.
  • A group of at least 10 pastors just met at the apartments to pray for the property, workers, leadership, and The Final Step. One of those pastors will be oversee the property and team as it grows.
  • Through the pilot program we expect to learn how quickly we can scale a group of qualified workers who can live and work together as a team, performing a high value work for organizations and businesses in the USA.
  • If it works, we’ll add more workers at the current location and expect to open additional locations using the same model.
  • My family will remain in America, though I’ll travel from time to time.

Our goal is simple, we aim to create jobs for people with physical disabilities.  We know we have some challenges to overcome, but I’m already encouraged by the progress and I’m excited by the opportunity.

  • If you’ve read this far, please pray for Kenya as Tuesday, Aug 8, is election day.

Marketing is everything

I helped organize a Shooting4Peace celebrity basketball game in Harrisburg, where former NBA players play local teams to try to help build safe, strong communities. I had the privilege driving one of the NBA players to the airport at 2AM. I was told “He’s the best, super fun, and he’ll love what you’re doing. Take your kids.”

We chatted and he answered my questions, but we rode in silence for much of the hour ride.

I had hoped to talk about The Final Step, but he never asked me a question. It was, after all, 2AM and he was tired, still icing his knees 5 hours after the game. He is also on mission and busy building his own organization, but I expected the usual pleasantries and conversation.

As soon as he closed the car door I thought “marketing is everything”. I was still glad to serve and wasn’t upset that he didn’t ask, just disappointed I didn’t bring it up. I could have promoted the work we’re doing, but I hesitated. He was tired, I didn’t want to bother him, and he didn’t ask. Still, I left feeling like I wasted what could have been a good opportunity.

Marketing is everything. Being prepared and having a plan, or worse having a hope, is not enough. Sometimes you must look past your hesitations and promote yourself.

The Final Step is just getting started and we don’t have much to show yet, but we have a website and I just interviewed a developer and a manager who are both eager to start. With those two positions filled we can start securing work and finding workers. All the preparations and planning will go into effect and I can start marketing and using every opportunity to share our mission; creating jobs for people with physical disabilities in the Majority World.

Head over to to learn more or to get involved.

The Final Step

40 hours of travel for 80 hours in Kenya. The trip was positive and productive. I booked the flights with 2 weeks notice and had no appointments lined up.  Even with such short notice, each day was full of impactful meetings and incredible opportunities.  Everyone we met were willing to help and eager to see what we will be able to build.

We met a new organization, Rizikisource, that is already collecting the resumes of people with disabilities in order to begin finding work for them.  Zalego will be able to provide computer training in any area we require, basic typing, PHP, Python, or Cisco training. Friends, some new and some old, were able to share valuable insights and introductions. We were really blessed to find some of the right people with such short notice and such little time to get together.

It was also really fun being back in Nairobi. It’s been ten years, but I met with some people who assumed I still lived in Kenya. I immediately felt like I was tricking them with my Kenyan accent and nonchalant shang and Swahili,  but was later told I should appreciate being able to still communicate effectively after being gone for so long.  The city has changed, taller buildings with more glass, and clearer skies; the result of nicer vehicles on the road.  The people are the same, hospitable and caring. The samosas are still tasty.

A business called The Final Step
Cure was the first step, hospitals to provide life saving and life changing surgeries. Education is the next step, learning and skills, often left unused without jobs. We have helped build a school for children with disabilities, but we realized there are many more organizations serving the educational needs, even of the disabled community,  than there are creating jobs. So, we’re focusing instead on the final step, employment.

We understand how important and dignifying a job is, especially for a community that sees twice the unemployment rate of the often high national averages. That was the point of this trip, to begin taking strides toward testing our assumptions and getting started building a business to provide thousands of jobs.

The trip was both tiring and refreshing, exhausting hours juxtaposed with the excitement of this important work being affirmed and validated.  Someone asked if I felt called to this; undoubtedly, yes.

The Next Step

I was the owner/operator of a small web design company in Central PA, but I am closing that to help start a new business. I am now focusing my web and business development experience on starting a new organization, dedicated to creating jobs for disabled people in East Africa. So, this new venture is the next step for  me, applying my experience and upbringing toward a great new cause.

This new business is another project by the founders of Cure International, who always planned to follow the hospitals with education and employment opportunities for the thousands of kids who received life saving and life changing surgeries. Cure has been a part of my story as well, since I ultimately met my wife because her father was the engineer building the first Cure hospital, twenty years ago.

Creating Jobs
We are working on a plan to create thousands of online jobs in the next five years. We will train and equip virtual workers and will pair them with online work. I will be traveling to Kenya in the next few weeks to make connections and hopefully find a few people to begin working with to test some of our ideas.

We are just getting started, so please connect if you’d like to learn more or to help out.

About the blog
I’ve removed all of my old content and posts. I apologize if you found this site from a link from old tech posts about Android and Gmail . I was still getting a lot of traffic to those pages and the internet marketer in me doesn’t want to lose the SEO value those links represent. Still, all new posts will chronicle this new organization and the lessons and adventures along the way. I decided to start fresh with the blog because I’d like to know all new visits represent interest in this next step.