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Employer Partners

Supported Employment Program

Let Els for Autism Foundation support your business in the recruitment and onsite training of qualified and talented individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities. Individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities excel in the areas of attendance, punctuality, job tenure, and adherence to policies and procedures. As a matter of fact, businesses will often tell us that their employees with autism are often the most reliable and hard working.

“Big corporations are sharing best practices of hiring individuals with autism, but many small businesses are seeing the value as well.”
– Dr. Kerri Morse, Adult Services Manager, Els for Autism

Hire Trained Candidates

Els for Autism Foundation offers a 16-week Work Experience Training Program to prepare adults seeking employment in the municipality, hospitality or healthcare industries. This training program, offered in partnership with the Town of Jupiter, PGA National Resort & Spa, and Jupiter Medical Center allows participants to learn industry-specific work-skills. After completing the program, the graduates are ready to start their careers and add value to your business.

Benefit for Employers

Partnering with Els for Autism gives your business support in hiring employees with autism and other developmental disabilities whose talents align with your business goals. Our job coaches and clinical staff offer assistance during the on-boarding, orientation, skill development, and retention process. Additionally, the Foundation provides on-site training for managers and staff to support existing diversity initiatives and enhance workplace culture. Furthermore, businesses accommodating people with disabilities may qualify for tax credits and deductions. More detailed information may be found in the IRS publications.

Benefit for Employees

So often, who we are is what we do. Besides earning an income, employment is a necessary means for individuals to have a sense of independence, become part of their community, and share their strengths and talents.

Employer Training

For webinar resources, go to the Adult Services – Employer Resources tab.  Here you will find informative webinars such as:

  • What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?
  • Recruiting Qualified Candidates with Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Hiring and Onboarding Process
  • Keys to Successful Support & Providing Accommodations
  • Affecting Your Bottom Line – The Impact of Hiring Individuals with ASD.

For more information on the Supported Employment Program:

Fill out and submit the online form, or
Contact: Dr. Kerri Morse, Adult Services Manager
Email: kerri.morse@elsforautism.org
Phone: 561-320-9523

Read about businesses taking part in the Supported Employment Program:

 

Joey D ™ Golf

Emmy at Joey D Fitness

When adults graduate from the Els for Autism Foundation Work Experience Program and find the right job with the right business, it is a win-win for the employee and employer.

Emmalee (Emmy) Bell graduated from The Learning Academy and attended the Work Experience Program in partnership with PGA Resort and Spa. During her Work Experience Program training, the departments she worked in were housekeeping and golf. Emmy had been previously trained to work on a computer, mainly scanning and data entry.  When seeking an employer with a position to match Emmy’s skills, Dr. Kerri Morse, Adult Services Manager, at Els for Autism Foundation talked to Emerson Stratton, Director of Operations, at Joey D Golf.  After defining the job skills that were needed at Joey D Golf, Kerri determined Emmy was a perfect match.

Growing up in Massachusetts, Emerson had helped at a YMCA summer camp in that supported children with autism. He had a positive experience and knew individuals with autism possessed strong skills such as attention to detail.

“Communication was a challenge at first.”, said Emerson.  Emmy was provided with a task analysis of what she needed to do, a checklist, and a social story for her to be able to greet customers. She was then able to work well with the social narrative that outlines social expectations. Understanding that Emmy was non-verbal, Emerson was able to provide visual directions to get her set-up.  “Emmy can watch me do a task and then she will just do it.”, said Emerson, “I create something visual for her, give her the task, and she gets it done.”  Emmy has been trained to ask Emerson for help when she needs it.

Emmy at Joey D FitnessCurrently, Emmy works at Joey D Golf two days a week from 2:00-4:00 p.m.  Her job routine includes cleaning equipment and data entry to maintain client folders electronically.  Because this employment has been so successful, Kerri’s team is looking into other fitness centers in the area to expand her hours.

“When a company is small, tasks can be tailored to meet the needs of the employee and the employer, which makes the employment of Emmy at Joey D Golf a win-win situation.”, Kerri said.

Peter Piper Pizza

Sam at Peter Piper Pizza

When Thomas Thorme, senior general manager, and Robert Mason, assistant manager, of Peter Piper Pizza in Greenacres, FL, heard about an opportunity to hire individuals on the autism spectrum, they welcomed the idea with open arms. Having family members with autism, the managers knew the impact they could make by employing someone on the spectrum.

“We want to be able to grow awareness in the community, as well as provide opportunities as an employer to individuals on the spectrum that may not regularly be given the experience to work without limitations in our society,” Thomas said.

Sam at Peter Piper PizzaOne of the individuals they hired was Sam Klinger, 22, who has worked at Peter Piper Pizza for the past eight months, about 12 hours a week.

Sam is a graduate of the Els for Autism Foundation Work Experience program, which prepares individuals with autism for paid employment. During Sam’s program session he worked for Jupiter Medical Center in the environmental services and dietary departments, an experience that helped prepare him for his current role at Peter Piper Pizza.

His responsibilities can vary depending on the shift, but Sam is often tasked with keeping the napkin and plastic utensils filled at the self-service counter and maintaining the cleanliness of the dining room area. On slower days he can be found in the game room, behind the prize counter, exchanging guests’ hard-won tickets for prizes.
Sam loves his job and the employee perk of a staff meal on his break. “I like the garlic knots and pepperoni pizza,” Sam said, adding that he enjoys “a salad every now and then.”
Sam at Peter Piper PizzaVictoria Jaimes, one of Sam’s co-workers, lights up when asked about Sam. “I love coming in to work a shift when he is working. He is just so positive and awesome to be around.”

Working with Sam is not only fun, but Thomas says it has helped him, as well as his team members, to strengthen their patience and communication skills. If Sam is struggling to complete a task, the staff has learned to slow down and reiterate or come up with another solution.

“The positivity and energy he brings to every shift cannot be traded or discounted. Sam has an integral role in our team’s dynamic and we are so fortunate to have him,” Thomas said.