Ford Motor Company announced this week a partnership with the Autism Alliance of Michigan in order to provide work experience at Ford to persons affected by autism.
Named “FordInclusiveWorks,” this pilot work program for autistic persons officially launches on June 1st. The program created five new positions within Ford’s product development organization to suit the skills of autistic individuals, and participants in the program will receive useful on-the-job training. They will also be evaluated throughout the course of the program to ascertain whether they might be a good fit to enter Ford’s regular recruiting process.
As an example of the sort of work some participants will be doing, Ford created a position within the vehicle evaluation and verification test lab in which FordInclusiveWorks program members will log and prepare tires for use on test vehicles. The job will require great focus, organization skills, and a keen attention to detail.
“We are truly excited to be collaborating with Ford on this pilot program,” said Autism Alliance of Michigan President and CEO Colleen Allen. “For so many individuals with autism spectrum disorder, getting and keeping a job is a challenge. Often, companies lack understanding of the unique characteristics associated with autism, which can be challenging, and unfortunately this can lead to perceptions of a poor fit for the individual and coworkers.
“I applaud Ford for taking these critical steps to understand autism, and for giving those who have struggled to find competitive employment real career opportunities that could be life changing for them.”