Thinking outside the box to solve labor challenges in the Transportation and Logistics industries

Good employees are crucial to the success of any business; unfortunately finding and retaining talent is also one of the top challenges most companies face. With an increasing number of opportunities in the industry, qualified candidates can afford to be picky, and current talent is being lured to competitors. A Department of Labor (DOL) report found that adding to the challenge is inadequate access to non-traditional labor pools such as women, veterans and people with disabilities and the industry suffering from a “fairly low public image”[1].

I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with an individual who’s looking to not only fix the labor challenge but help improve the image of the industry. Rhonda Bailey is the Program Coordinator of Project Search, a program offered by Arc Industries that aims to meet logistics employers’ labor market needs through full-time employment of adults with disabilities. Project Search is an adult, six month, paid program teaching job skills specific for competitive employment in the logistics industry with strong emphasis on employability skills.

Unfortunately there are a number of misconceptions about hiring individuals with disabilities such as higher workers compensation costs, inability to perform the job, and causing concern for their customers. Through my discussion with Rhonda I learned that a number of statistics point to just the opposite. Walgreen’s Anderson, South Carolina distribution center employs 185 workers with disabilities and saw their workers compensation claims drop by $17,000 in a span of nine months. In addition, 90% of individuals with disabilities performed equal to or better than their nondisabled counterparts[2], 62% remained in the same job for 3 or more years[3], and 87% of all U.S. adults prefer to spend money at businesses that hire individuals with disabilities3.

Project Search has seen great success, placing 24 full-time individuals in 16 distribution centers around Central, Ohio including Abercrombie & Fitch, Big Lots, ODW, and DSW. They also boast a placement rate of 100% and a retention rate of 82%. Project Search is proving that thinking outside the box when it comes to hiring can provide great benefits to your company and these individuals that just need an opportunity.

For more information Rhonda can be reached at:



[1] Department of Labor (2007). Identifying and Addressing Workforce Challenges in America’s Transportation Industry.

[2] American Training (December 12, 2012). New data substantiates benefits of hiring people with disabilities for assembly and distribution jobs.

[3] Institute for Corporate Productivity (2014). Employing people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  


You’ve heard our thoughts… We’d like to hear yours

The Schneider Downs Our Thoughts On blog exists to create a dialogue on issues that are important to organizations and individuals. While we enjoy sharing our ideas and insights, we’re especially interested in what you may have to say. If you have a question or a comment about this article – or any article from the Our Thoughts On blog – we hope you’ll share it with us. After all, a dialogue is an exchange of ideas, and we’d like to hear from you. Email us at

Material discussed is meant for informational purposes only, and it is not to be construed as investment, tax, or legal advice. Please note that individual situations can vary. Therefore, this information should be relied upon when coordinated with individual professional advice.

© 2019 Schneider Downs. All rights-reserved. All content on this site is property of Schneider Downs unless otherwise noted and should not be used without written permission.

our thoughts on

Due to Feedback, IRS is Brainstorming Other Ways to Calculate the Tax on Parking
Postcard #1 from the American Trucking Association’s National Accounting and Finance Council’s Annual Conference – Breakfast Address by President Chris Spear
IASB Proposes Annual Improvements for 2019
Audit BY Adam Goode
Is It Time to Overhaul the Income Statement?
West Virginia Enacts Special Apportionment Rules for Motor Carriers
Have Supply Chain Questions? Big Data Has Your Answers

Register to receive our weekly newsletter with our most recent columns and insights.

Have a question? Ask us!

We’d love to hear from you. Drop us a note, and we’ll respond to you as quickly as possible.

Ask us

contact us

Map of Pittsburgh Office

One PPG Place, Suite 1700
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
p:412.261.3644     f:412.261.4876

Map of Columbus Office

65 East State Street, Suite 2000
Columbus, OH 43215
p:614.621.4060     f:614.621.4062

Map of Washington Office
Washington, D.C.

1660 International Drive, Suite 600
McLean, VA 22102