Recently, Ford Motor Company announced they are launching a program designed to help people with autism get on-the-job work experience with Ford, which is funded by the Autism Alliance of Michigan. This program is the very first of its kind–and it’s awesome.
The program, FordInclusiveWorks, will launch tomorrow on June 1. It works by matching people with jobs in Ford’s product development division–all participants will be paid for the duration of the program, which will last between 30 and 90 days. Felicia Fields, group vice president of human resources and corporate services at Ford, said in a statement:
“Individuals with autism bring a unique set of talents to our business. We recognize that having a diverse and inclusive workforce allows us to leverage a wider range of innovative ideas to make our customers’ lives better.”
So, what will the five new positions exactly do? According to Ford, the participants will work in the company’s vehicle evaluation and verification test lab, which includes logging and prepping tires for test vehicles. Of course, it’s important to keep in mind that admission, and completing, the program does not guarantee a permanent position.
Colleen Allen, president and CEO of the Autism Alliance of Michigan, has stated how important this opportunity is regardless of what happens post-program:
“We are truly excited to be collaborating with Ford on this pilot program. 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.”
Interested individuals can apply through Ford’s career portal.