02 Jun Ford Eyes Workers With AutismJune 2, 2016
By: Shaun Heasley
A major American automaker is looking to tap the potential of workers on the spectrum.
Ford Motor Company said it is launching a pilot program this week designed to employ people with autism.
Through the initiative dubbed “FordInclusiveWorks,” the company said it will establish five new positions in product development that were “created to suit the skills and capabilities of people with autism.”
If successful, participants in the pilot program will ultimately enter Ford’s standard recruiting process, company officials said.
“Individuals with autism bring a unique set of talents to our business,” said Felicia Fields, Ford group vice president of human resources and corporate services. “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.”
Though it’s not immediately clear what all of the participants will do at Ford, at least one person with autism in the pilot will log and prepare tires that engineers use on test vehicles in product assessment, the company said.
All of the positions will be based at Ford’s Dearborn, Mich. headquarters and will last between 30 and 90 days. The jobs are a mix of full and part-time positions, according to Amanda Park, a spokeswoman for the company.
Ford will work with the nonprofit Autism Alliance of Michigan to facilitate the pilot program.
The automaker adds to a growing list of major corporations making an effort to hire people with autism. Microsoft and the software company SAP have also established programs in recent years to recruit workers with the developmental disorder.