Ford has made huge strides for those within the special needs spectrum, introducing a pilot program aimed to offer career opportunities for individuals who have autism. Called FordInclusiveWorks, the program was established along with the organization, Autism Alliance of Michigan.
Ford’s Chief Technical Officer, Raj Nair recently commented on the new initiative, stating that the company has a commitment to bettering the lives of people; and this program not only has the potential to do this, but also aid Ford in becoming that much more diverse, and provide an inclusive workplace. He goes on to note that autism affects many within the company’s communities, and he is proud that the Ford is taking this on.
The company is creating five new roles in their product development department, aimed to fit the capabilities and skills of autistic individuals. The program also includes evaluating people for future positions as well. Should an individual fit well within a role while being evaluated in this regard, they will enter Ford’s recruiting process.
President of the Autism Alliance of Michigan, Colleen Allen chimed in and said the organization is excited about the partnership with Ford. For many with autism, gaining and keeping employment can be a challenge. She adds that there can be a lack of understanding around autism, which also makes it challenging.
MSN reported that the program will not only offer individuals with autism the opportunity around employment experience based on their set of skills, it will provide benefits to the company’s product development as well. An example of this benefit is within Ford’s vehicle evaluation and verification test lab, where a participant within the program will prepare and log tires for cars that are tested and used by engineers during product assessments. This type of role needs an individual with focus, high attention to detail, and organization; which are all skills generally linked to those with autism.
As Ford’s Vice President, Human Resources, Felicia Fields notes, the company recognizes that an inclusive and diverse workplace provides Ford with the leverage to expand the range of innovative concepts to make their clients’ lives better.
FordInclusiveWorks will launch this year, in June.