It’s certainly not a household name, but the STEP GROUP is reinventing business in Lancaster County Pennsylvania and around the United States.

We’ve all heard some version of this before – how big corporate businesses are squeezing out the small family-run shops, and making markets both more orderly and more sterile places.

We also know, most of us, that you end up paying a lot when you call the “big guys” who have put massive funds into shiny new trucks, tools and HR departments. When you get assistance from a corporate service, prices go up. There’s a lot less ability to negotiate or interact with human beings to make customized deals. At the STEP GROUP we not only provide the services, But we provide “service with a heart”

That’s part of what’s at the heart of our STEP Group, and our set of businesses, including Plain and Simple llc, Eastern PA Handyman, America’s Painting Experts, Farm Fresh Media Marketing, and Lancaster Deck Pros. We provide a place to get real help, at good prices, without a lot of extra nonsense. All while showing compassion and understanding to our neighbors in need.

We’ve also heard a lot, on TV and on the street, about the need to employ our nation’s veterans, and socially economically challenged. They come back from war with crippling physical ailments, disabilities and mental health needs. Too often, they have a hard time getting a job in the corporate job market. But who’s there to help them? We here at the STEP GROUP are!

If you look behind the curtain, you can see that the effort to help employ veterans and the corporatization of our job market are going in opposite directions.

The small businesses that are trying to make genuine efforts to hire veterans are squeezed out by the corporate businesses that may claim to adopt veteran-friendly policies, but really only care about the most efficient way to the all mighty dollar. Employing veterans over other candidates is not an efficient form of business – instead, it’s a form of business focused on equality, justice and a helping hand. Don’t be fooled into thinking that corporate businesses are going to embrace this model; we know from any casual reading of economics that maximum profit is the unbreakable rule at these companies – and they’re not going to throw it over for anything!

At our STEP Group, we take the idea of actually employing veterans and others who need to develop a career, not just work a dead-end job. We take on new people and help them develop the skills they need to survive in a tough economy.

The people at the top may say the economy is going great – but just because the Dow Jones is above a certain number doesn’t mean the rest of us are doing well on Main Street. Things are tough – and one thing that’s tough is to get a job without specialized skills. We bring new people in the door and help them to develop through apprenticeships, and on the job training that maximize value to the customer, while also giving less experienced workers a hand climbing the ladder.

To be clear, they’re not climbing the ladder towards corporate domination. They’re building skills that will allow them to, in turn, go out and develop their own businesses and compete with the corporate system that really doesn’t care at all about you or your community. The skills necessary to build strong foundations for strong vibrant inclusive communities.

With our STEP Group, we connect directly with people who want value for home improvement, and other services we offer. They don’t want a big corporate company to come in with million-dollar vehicles and all the best equipment, knock the job out in two hours, and charge them 300% of what they could’ve gotten from a small shop.

Most property owners want a couple of guys to come out and get the work done right, without a lot of bells and whistles, and pay a fair price for the project. The average American doesn’t have thousands of dollars to throw around improving their homes and properties. They want affordability. With an emphasis on a “Job done right”.

By bridging that gap – by creating less corporate businesses that are professional and well qualified to handle home-improvement projects, and other services we’re giving the customers what they need as well. It’s a win-win for everyone, and the community as a whole. You’ll find that in these corners of the home improvement market, good things are happening. The free market is rewarding human connections and local business deals, and punishing companies that think they need to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on overhead and then pass those costs along to the customer.

So how are we doing with the STEP Group? Business is booming – we need new people on board. Take a look to see more about how we foster skill set creation and learning at the STEP Group, and what we can do for you!

Link to the STEP Group

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