It is our belief that able people on the autism spectrum want to live fulfilling lives. Most people want to have a nice place to live, enough food to eat, the opportunity to travel and enough money to buy the things they want and need. This means having a job that you enjoy and pays a living wage. Most people with autism are not “fully employed”. This means that even though they may have a job, they often do not work full time, or have a job in the field that they studied in college. Persever8 wants to change this and prepare people on the spectrum for interesting, living wage jobs.
Finding a job is difficult. Keeping a job is even harder. Keeping a job requires understanding social situations and chain of command and many other “soft skills” that people autism have difficulty understanding. Without specific training in this “unwritten curriculum”, people on the spectrum may lose their jobs and not fully understand why they have been fired.
When we began our company, we looked at other companies working with people on the spectrum and found that none of the companies we studied taught life skills or workforce readiness skills. We also found that most of these companies did not prepare their trainees for jobs outside of their company. They also rarely employed people full time. At Persever8, we know that having all the things that a person wants out of life usually requires that they work full time in a job that provides a living wage. For this reason, we decided that Persever8 was going to be different than these other companies. The goal for all of Persever8’s trainees is to provide them with the tools they need to be successful at finding, and keeping a job that pays a living wage.
For our trainees to be ready for the real world and an independent life, we have developed a holistic approach that includes life skills, workforce readiness skills and technical skills necessary to be successful in the world. We believe that all three of these skill sets are necessary for success and for that reason, all of our trainees are required to participate in the full program. We do not offer a “menu” of services, but a program of services that is comprehensive in scope and tailor made for people with autism spectrum disorder to help them reach their goals in life.
Why We Have a Life Skills and Workforce Readiness Program