Rising Tide Car Wash in Parkland, Florida has started a new wave of support for employing individuals with autism. The D’Eri family opened up the car wash in June 2012 based on a business motto that combines dedicated training and high standards in their public commitment to employ people with autism. Inspired by the fears and hopes for the youngest in the family, Andrew D’Eri, the founders of Rising Tide Car Wash are proving that a business can hire workers with autism and deliver superior service.
The mission of Rising Tide Car Wash is multifaceted. By being an example of a thriving business that employs people with autism, Rising Tide Car Wash is communicating to the community and other businesses that taking on employees that have autism is not about doing a favor to those with developmental disabilities. The idea is to create awareness that people with autism have particular areas of strengths that can be optimized in the workforce, if only businesses would open up their business model to accept them.
As it pertains to washing cars, the staff trainers at Rising Tide Car Wash have found that their team of employees with autism are very detail-orientated, a key asset in the car washing industry. It was also the case that the new hires with autism showed a strong dedication to learn, displayed a consistent positive attitude, and had the abilities necessary for the job.
There are businesses that currently hire individuals with autism; however, generally these positions are more behind the scenes with less customer interaction. Not so with Rising Tide Car Wash. Employees get to interact with the customers, and the customer feedback regarding their service has been positive. People in the community have shown that they support the mission of Rising Tide Car Wash to employ individuals with autism.
According to Forbes, the current unemployment rate for people with autism is 65-90%, and there will be at least 500,000 people with autism that will need jobs in the next decade. Having a job significantly increases the self-esteem of people on the autism spectrum, especially those who have endured rejection and bullying because of difficulties associated with their diagnosis. Employing people with autism also produces awareness in the public about autism and how people with autism have a role in the community and the economy.
The Rising Tide Car Wash website has a support page for anyone who wants to patronize businesses known to hire people with autism. Applebee’s franchise restaurant also has part time work available for employees with autism and special needs. To find candidates, ThinkBeyondtheLabel.com is an organized resource to hire talent with disabilities.