INDUSTRY: SOCIAL ASSISTANCE
BUSINESS: HYBRIDGE LEARNING GROUP
YEAR FOUNDED: 2006
PROGRAM: 2016 EMERGING LEADERS NEWARK
“I’m encouraging the growth of the company but also looking at the individuals as well. What are their goals and how can their goals help the company and, in a sense, help them too.”
BUSINESS OVERVIEWHybridge Learning Group
was started in 2006 as a way for Jamil Brown to pursue his passion for helping children with autism. Today, his business helps about over 100 children “in the areas of communication, social skills, and behavior management” across New Jersey. 15 percent of their work is done with schools, who look for additional support whether in the form of professional development or in-class support, while the other 85 percent is done in homes on a one-to-one basis. Jamil sees his business as supporting parents prepare their children to become fulfilled and productive members of society, children who have conditions that no parent is prepared for. Today, Hybridge Learning Group is powered by 12 full-time employees and 61 part-time employees. Hybridge has grown quickly, making almost $2M in revenues last year with plans over the next two years to open three additional locations.
LEARNING TO INNOVATE
For years, finding talent has been a significant barrier for Hybridge. “Because what we do is very technical, the skill set involved isn’t ubiquitous,” Jamil points out. “So there aren’t a lot of people who can do it.” This is a common problem among high skill employers like Hybridge. Especially in low- or moderate-income communities, it can be hard to find people with the certifications that the job demands. In 2015, however, Jamil found an innovative solution to his problem.
Because Hybridge makes most of its revenue through insurance coverage, there are still a large number of parents who do not have the necessary coverage to receive Hybridge’s service. Jamil realized he could take these children, who would not receive therapy otherwise, and support them by opening up a free to low-cost clinic, where some parents pay no more than 30 percent of the actual cost. This clinic gives uncertified employees the training they need to become certified, and provides children who are not covered by insurance with the care they otherwise would not get. Today, about 40 percent of his employees come from service in this clinic. This training clinic has not only solved Jamil’s hiring problem, but it also has been a huge asset to the community by providing free to low cost quality therapy to children who need it.