HireMe Rebrands to V15Able
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- Published on February 22, 2022
- In Press Release
New website and brand refresh looks to bring disabled jobseekers and employers together.
Approximately 60% of all disabled people in the United States of working age are unemployed, and yet every year there are 7 million job openings that go unfilled. V15Able (pronounced Visible), a new employment platform designed to bring candidates and employers together, aims to solve both problems.
V15Able is the brainchild of founder and CEO Letisha Wexstten. Wexstten was born without arms and at an early age had to learn how to do everything with her feet.
She began her journey to inspire and assist the disabled community in 2012 when she debuted her YouTube channel, “Tisha UnArmed”, where she creates and posts informational and humorous videos of her daily life with a disability.
Currently the channel has more than 170,000 followers, and its success made Wexstten think about what else she could do to help the disabled community. Having struggled herself in the job market, she set out to create a platform to help disabled candidates connect with employers.
“When I saw how much of a difference the YouTube channel was making I knew that I wanted to help other people like me gain the confidence they needed in order to take back their independence,” Wexstten explains. “I am really excited to see what the future holds for V15Able. We think that this platform is going to change the world.”
V15Able (15 represents the 15% of the global population with disabilities) was developed at the University of Missouri – St. Louis in 2019 through the University’s first Entrepreneurial Quest Accelerator program, a six-week course in entrepreneurship that culminated in a competition for a $15,000 grant. V15Able took home the win and Wexstten used the grant to create a business plan and research the concept further.
Later in 2019, V15Able won a $50,000 St. Louis Arch Grant to put towards building the online platform. In 2020 V15able partnered with St. Louis startup studio Sigla to build the first iteration of its platform, which made its debut in March 2021.
Most recently, Wexstten and V15Able were accepted into the Pipeline Pathfinder program – their first ever class of an elite network for often overlooked and underserved entrepreneurs. Pipeline is an entrepreneurial support network founded in 2006 to serve the Midwest’s budding serial entrepreneurs leading scalable companies, but who have not yet made the leap to full-time.
“We wanted this to be a no-fuss process for people with disabilities,” Wexstten said. “Think of it like LinkedIn—it’s free to create a profile but if you want additional features you will be able to pay for a subscription fee.”
Currently the V15Able website offers disabled candidates the ability to create their own free, customizable profile that best describes and showcases their capabilities in the workplace. Candidates may then share their profile with prospective employers with a personal link.
Once fully funded, V15Able.com will be a fully functioning employment platform where candidates will be able to share their profiles, search other candidates and communicate with employers. Employers and recruiters will be able to search the platform for a fee and filter candidates based on their employment needs.
“My plan for V15Able is to change the way businesses hire people with disabilities, allowing disabled candidates to advocate for themselves proving that anything is possible,” Wexstten said. “My goal for the future of the company is to break down barriers for people with disabilities and employers, creating a more inclusive work environment