We wanted to share an amazing story from our friends at Asbury Automotive Group, Inc., which operates 79 car dealerships across the southeast and is the 5th largest publicly-traded automotive retailer in the country. This is a guest blog post from Melissa Corey at Asbury Automotive Group.
Hi, my name is Melissa with Asbury Automotive Group and I have been working on our new café concept, Café Blends: Blending Autism Into the Workplace ®.
In December 2011, one of our dealerships, Nalley Lexus-Roswell in Roswell, Georgia, opened the company’s first Café Blends. This café was designed specifically to provide awareness and employment opportunities for individuals on the autism spectrum. We partnered with Nobis Works, a local non-profit that provides job training and employment for people with disabilities, and it has proven to be a tremendous success.
The response so far from the employees and customers has been overwhelming. We set out thinking we were helping to change the lives of these young adults, and in turn, they have changed all of our lives. It has been a really amazing experience to watch the personalities of these young adults grow, and to hear from their parents how much they have changed at home just from working at the café.
Because of the great success we experienced with our first café, we opened a second location at Nalley Lexus-Galleria in Smyrna, Georgia, in March. This location has brought us the same excitement and awareness that came with the first café’s opening. We hope to expand this concept in more of our dealerships across the southeast – the word is spreading like wildfire around the company!
Autism Speaks has been an integral part in opening these cafes – they have provided an immeasurable amount of education, advice and support throughout the entire process.
To commemorate our friends at Autism Speaks and the success of our first two cafes, for the next 10 days we are proud to announce that we will match all online donations made to Autism Speaks, up to $10,000!
If you or somebody you know was thinking of making a donation, now’s the time: you’ll double your impact! Don’t forget to tell your friends, and thanks to Asbury for their support and for this amazing initative!