Lubbock, TX – Quiznos has pared up with Texas Tech’s Burkhart Center to give students on the autism spectrum real world restaurant experience. The partnership was inspired by the center’s director Janice Magness who wanted to put a coffee house in Burkhart Center for students to not only study in, but also get service industry experience seeing as many wish to enter the field after graduation.
Magness presented her idea to the Hospitality Services managing director Kirk Rodriguez who felt the idea was too small. Instead of putting in a coffee house, which he knew would provided limited work experience and limited return on investment, he suggested Quiznos. There was already a location on campus that was preforming well. Rodriguez reached out to Quiznos corporate who warmed to the idea as quickly as the toasty goodness they sell. It opened more then a year later.
Rodriguez told Newswise,
“This new Quiznos demonstrates the continued partnership and a commitment to education between Hospitality Services and the Burkhart Center. This outlet will not only serve the campus community, but will also provide individuals with autism the needed skills to better themselves in a real-world working environment.”
This mission fits well with the Burkhart Center. Established in 2005 by the generous donations from Jim and Jere Lynn Burkhart, the center serves students on the autism spectrum between the ages of 18-30. The center’s main program is called Transition Academy and aims to teach real adult life skills so students can get a job and live independently.
Contributed by Audrey L. Hollingshead
Source: The News Wise website: Autism Education Facility at Texas Tech Partners with Quiznos to Provide Work Experience for Students