Leading the Industry Through Customized Employment

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Our CEO Nona Yehia had the honor recently to speak with Trevor Williams on the Farm Traveler Podcast. One of her comments struck a specific chord with Trevor — that Vertical Harvest pairs the job to the individual and the individual to the job.

Vertical Harvest achieves this by taking a holistic approach to employment.

Taking a holistic approach means looking at something as a full, interconnected entity to understand the bigger picture. “I like to think of it as not just thinking and implementing change outside the box — but removing boxes completely,” Nona says.

Treating an individual holistically on the job means giving equal importance to all aspects of an individual’s wellbeing — mental,  physical, emotional, social and spiritual. Our Grow Well program takes this customized employment approach to heart, especially with our employees with intellectual and developmental disabilities, she says.

The result is that working at Vertical Harvest brings out abilities in people and builds a business case and culture around that. “Innovation at its heart takes all sorts of perspectives and our employees are living proof that a holistic approach to customized employment works. Employees with Autism and Down Syndrome are leading farm teams and developing company procedures. 

“They are not only contributing to a sea change of perception about what developmentally disabled populations can do and achieve, they also are leading the charge in the fastest growing industry in agriculture. They will be the leaders and teachers of tomorrow to help alleviate the most pressing problems on our planet,” Nana says.

To hear Trevor and Nona discuss this and other aspects of Vertical Harvest’s approach to employment and innovation, give a listen to the May 25 edition of the Farm Traveler Podcast  or finding it on your favorite podcast app.