WILMINGTON, Del. – Blindsight Delaware Enterprises (BSDE), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit social business enterprise founded in 2021, has chosen Wilmington, Delaware, as the site for a $2.3 million regional medical scheduling hub that will train and employ more than 225 Delawareans with economic vulnerabilities while helping to alleviate staffing shortages created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
BSDE’s call center will be located in the CSC Station coworking space, which is adjacent to Joseph R. Biden Jr. Railroad Station in downtown Wilmington. It will provide on-site and fully remote jobs to Delawareans with physical and socioeconomic challenges while serving healthcare providers throughout Delaware and beyond and generating revenue to support local social service programming.
“The BlindSight Delaware Enterprises medical scheduling hub will not only create more than 200 good jobs for economically vulnerable Delawareans, but also will help solve a healthcare staffing problem to support services for our state’s blind and visually impaired residents,” said Governor John Carney. “This project builds on Delaware’s strong healthcare foundation and is a great example of how innovative Delaware’s business and nonprofit communities are.”
BSDE will hire 227 Delawareans who are blind or visually impaired, have other disabilities, are military veterans and/or live in economically disadvantaged Promise Communities in New Castle, Kent and Sussex counties by the end of 2025. Most of these employees will be full-time medical schedulers, whose duties will include scheduling and confirming appointments, answering questions, providing directions and reminders and resolving problems for patients of Beebe Healthcare and other providers that contract with BSDE.
“We couldn’t be happier to welcome BlindSight Delaware Enterprises to Wilmington,” said Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki. “Governments and businesses strive for excellence in customer service every day, and having a locally based scheduling center in Wilmington will not only improve the experience of individuals looking to schedule medical appointments, it will also provide good jobs to hundreds of Delawareans in need of just such an opportunity. The City stands ready to support this effort in any way that we can, and we wish BlindSight Delaware Enterprises much success.”
Nationwide, the demand for medical schedulers has increased dramatically since the COVID-19 pandemic escalated turnover in hospital staffing. BSDE’s call center will help solve this problem in Delaware while also helping to alleviate underemployment among some of the state’s most economically vulnerable populations and generate income to support other social service programming for local residents who are blind or visually impaired.
Delaware Prosperity Partnership has worked with BSDE for several months as the organization has explored programs to enable these plans. Today, DPP supported BSDE’s application to the Council on Development Finance for a Jobs Performance Grant of up to $608,000 from the Delaware Strategic Fund. Distribution of grants from the Delaware Strategic Fund are dependent on the company meeting commitments as outlined to the CDF, which reviewed and approved the organization’s request.
“As a former commercial banker and a 30-year Delaware not-for-profit leader providing direct services to those in need along with employment throughout Delaware, I have been honored to lead this social business enterprise to both employ and serve Delawareans and our high-priority industries, while drawing contracts from Philadelphia, Southern New Jersey, Baltimore and Chicago to make Delaware the call center hub of our region,” said John Baker, BSDE executive director and CEO. “We could not do this without the support and vision of DPP, the CDF and other visionary Delaware leaders.”
Created in 2017, Delaware Prosperity Partnership (choosedelaware.com) is the nonprofit public/private organization that leads Delaware’s statewide economic development efforts to attract, grow and retain businesses; to build a stronger entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem; and to support private employers in identifying, recruiting and developing talent.
BlindSight Delaware Enterprises Inc. (bsdenterprises.org) is a nonprofit joint venture established in 2021 by BlindSight Delaware (formerly the Delaware Association for the Blind) and The Chicago Lighthouse, two social service agencies supporting the blind and visually impaired in Delaware and Illinois respectively. BSDE’s mission is to empower Delawareans who are blind, visually impaired, disabled or veterans by providing employment opportunities that enhance quality of life and support independent living. BSDE was created to provide training and employment opportunities for mission-related individuals in Delaware. BSDE operates as a social enterprise, and the revenue it generates supports social programs of the founding organizations.