Overcoming barriers Featured

8:00pm EDT June 25, 2007

Robert Schnieders dreamed of being a school department chairman — until he got fired as an assistant superintendent by a board rebelling against the superintendent.

As part of his new job, he began asking employers to describe their desired skills and discovered that educators and employers use different terms, creating a language barrier to employers getting the workers they sought. To close that gap, he founded Educational Data Systems Inc., which provides unique analysis of a job, connecting people’s skill sets with specific jobs.

With 24 offices in 14 cities staffed by 340 employees, Schnieders, who serves as EDSI’s president, makes sure each office has the same d├ęcor and uses the same work processes to reduce indirect labor and improve processes and outcomes. And his business model allows Schnieders to succeed in any economy. When the economy is up, clients view EDSI as a recruiter and trainer; when it’s down, EDSI is seen as an outplacement specialist and placement agency.

Schnieders understands that his employees play a big part in his success, so he tries to do for them what he does for clients, matching their skill sets and interests with jobs as they become available within his firm. In addition, he offers a program allowing quality employees to work part time while completing a degree, paid for by EDSI.

Despite his success in the nearly 30 years since founding EDSI, Schnieders has no intention of slowing down.

HOW TO REACH: Educational Data Systems Inc., (313) 271-2660 or www.edsincorporated.com