Last week, Ford Motor Company announced that it will begin a pilot program to help train individuals with autism in the workplace.
The company created five new positions within their product development organization specifically for the program, FordInclusiveWorks, which is in partnership with the Autism Alliance of Michigan.
"We are committed to making people’s lives better, and this pilot program has the potential to not only make the participants’ lives better, but also help Ford be an even more diverse and inclusive workforce,” says Raj Nair, Ford executive vice president, product development and chief technical officer. “Autism affects many people in our communities, and I’m proud we’re taking on this important initiative.”
“We applaud Ford for recognizing the value in employing people with autism," said Autism Speaks Vice President of Adult Services Leslie Long. "This trend of tapping into a labor pool that is skilled and engaged is critical for companies to be successful in the next century.”
Autism Speaks is committed to expanding employment opportunities and supports for young adults and adults with autism. TheSpectrumCareers is a portal designed to connect individuals on the spectrum with jobs and employment support service providers. The Autism Speaks Employment Tool Kit helps people with autism research, find and keep employment. Stories, tips and resources were developed from a collaboration of people, including adults with autism, dedicated to increasing the employment participation of adults on the spectrum. In addition, Autism Employment Network, powered by Autism Speaks, is a LinkedIn networking group that was developed to encourage the creation of greater employment opportunities for individuals with autism.