Welcome to NTI-Leaders in Placing Americans with Disabilities in Jobs

Welcome to the initial blog posting for the National Telecommuting Institute, Inc (NTI) NTI was founded in 1995 in Boston, Massachusetts. We are a 501(c) (3) nonprofit disability organization. NTI's mission is to identify and develop jobs for Americans with disabilities.

NTI grew out of the efforts of a small group of rehabilitation professionals searching for strategies to find long-term jobs for individuals with disabilities who wanted or needed home-based work. Today, NTI employs over 600 Americans with disabilities in work-at-home jobs. NTI employees work in a variety of home-based positions. Customer service representatives (CSR), help desk and technical support represent the largest group of services we provide. In 2013 we rebranded the work at home division to NTI@Home. At the same time NTI started two new divisions: The Staffing Connection and LandAjob. These two new divisions are focused on placing Americans with Disabilities in on-site positions. (They’ll be more on these two divisions in later posts.)

Over one million Americans in the disability community request government assistance in finding work each year. Yet industry experts estimate that government vocational rehabilitation (VR) counselors encounter only 20% of those with disabilities who are seeking work. Implying a total unemployed group numbering approximately 5 million. A survey of state VR counselors reported that 12% of the individuals in their caseloads require home-based work. Again, extrapolating to the estimated 5 million Americans with disabilities who would like to work but are unemployed, this means about 500,000 could benefit from a home-based work option. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that only 12.8% of home-bound individuals actually have full or part-time jobs. So as you can see NTI’s 600 employees is just a start…

So how do we do it? NTI@Home has developed a business model that is powerful and ripe for scaling. The model combines techniques for remote recruiting, eLearning, managing virtual organizations, the latest virtual contact center technologies, and a variety of incentives to encourage contact center employers to "go virtual".

NTI@Home offers high-quality, cost-effective CSR capabilities to organizations desiring to communicate with their customers either over the phone or online. Contact center clients can choose between three different levels of service to work with NTI@Home. Both place members of the disability community in jobs. However, the employer/employee relationship differs in each case. These three levels of service are:

1.    Complete outsourced virtual call center services. NTI@Home provides the technology, people and process to get your virtual contact center team up and running.
2.    A co-employment staffing agency agreement under which NTI@Home and the client are responsible for different aspects of the employer's role. NTI@Home provides complete HR and payroll management for the virtual workforce.
3.    Direct placement, here NTI@Home acts as adjunct staffing agency for contact center employers. Agents placed in this model become an employee of the contact center.

So that’s NTI@Home, we’ll use this blog to discuss virtual technologies, the work-at-home model and to engender discussion around placing more Americans with disabilities in virtual jobs. We at NTI are looking forward to your comments, questions and suggestions.

If it isn’t virtual,
It isn’t real…


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