The economic downturn continues to hurt nonprofit organizations that are assisting disadvantaged individuals. An automotive supervisor led a crusade to assist disabled workers during National Disability Employment Awareness Month and shares her book proceeds with a nonprofit organization.
With millions of individuals out of worker, many people forget that disabled individuals are dealing with higher unemployment rates. October marks National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), which is a national campaign to raise awareness about disability employment issues. In most circles, the plight of this group is forgotten.
Noriko Iwanaga Chapman, who is a production control supervisor for DENSO Manufacturing (TN), helped to restore $75K of government funding to the Tennessee Vocational Rehabilitation Center (TRC’s), located in Maryville. In 2009, the Maryville TRC was ranked at eighth in contract sales in Tennessee. Its mission is to provide services that help lead individuals who have a physical and/or mental disability to employment and are designed to meet individual needs.
As a result of a college project, Chapman became connected to this organization. She observed, “I was inspired by the staff and by individuals with disabilities who were trying very hard to learn work skills and seek permanent employment.” DENSO Corporation, headquartered in Kariya, Aichi prefecture, Japan, is a leading global automotive supplier with customers that include all the world’s major carmakers. With more than 200 subsidiaries and affiliates in 35 countries and regions (including Japan), DENSO had worked to assist the nonprofit organization with a contract that allowed disabled workers to earn income. In reality, DENSO was offering these workers a second chance.
Chapman was sympathetic about second chance opportunities anyway. Chapman, a mother of two, with over 16 years’ experience in the automobile industry, and is also a cancer survivor. Chapman notes, “In 2009, when I was diagnosed with cancer, it was devastating to think about the disease and an unknown future. A year later, I survived and gained my health back and was given a second chance to live.” She regained her strength and managed to attend Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) and enrolled in its MBA Program. It was the start of her quest to help nonprofit organizations.
Her research was the main inspiration for her new book, Second Chance: An In-depth Case Study on Nonprofit Organization’s Resource Allocation and Operational Maximization. It is co-authored by her LMU professor Dr. Daryl D. Green. The authors pledged 30 percent of the proceeds to a local nonprofit, assisting disabled adults. Chapman states, “It was a perfect project that God prepared with the perfect timing, a convenient location, hard-working people….It was a “Second Chance” for me to go back to school and resume my career after surviving cancer.”
Chapman’s personal story inspires others including disabled workers to face their circumstances with courage. If organizations and savvy media personalities want someone who can encourage people during National Disability Employment Awareness Month, Chapman would be an excellent selection.
For more information about the book or the author, please contact Noriko Chapman directly at 865-379-6455 or Chance2.Noriko@gmail.com. Ms. Chapman is available for media interviews.