Puzzles Bakery and Cafe, one solution to autism unemployment problem

From Facebook

From Facebook

Schenectady, NY – Head of Autism Initiative,  Sara Mae Hickey,  is opening Puzzles Bakery and Cafe with plans to employ people with and without learning differences. The idea was inspired by her sister who is on the autism spectrum. 

Billy DeSantis, one of the 100 individuals who’ve already applied for one of the 20 coveted positions, is very excited about the idea. He  told WNYT:

“I want to work in the community.  I want to get a good paycheck.  And I want to have a good experience,”

 Sara Mae Hickey plans to open more Puzzle Cafes in the region.

“She hopes her business will inspire others to follow suit, something that could help many in the autism community find work.” 

In 2010, a study completed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, showed that only 64 per cent of people without learning differences are employed. That number shrivels down to 29% for those with learning differences. 

To help plump up that statistic and tap into one of the best programing minds around, SAP, the worlds leading software company, has started a pilot program called Autism at Work. So far 30 employees on the spectrum have been hired in many spots around the world including; Ireland, Germany, India, Canada, and the U.S. The company plans to hire over 600 by 2020.

As the Vice President of product management and head of the Autism at Work program Jose Velasco told the Inquisitr:

“People affected by autism bring a tremendous amount of capabilities that are very important for us as an IT company. We are looking for people who have the ability to concentrate on tasks for a long time, people who have the ability to, in some places, do tasks that for other people might be considered repetitive but are absolutely of very high importance to us and the company.”  

The Puzzles Bakery and Cafe, plans to open on State Street this summer and will serve breakfast, lunch, dinner, and offer sandwiches, salads, soups, and freshly baked goods. 

To learn more please visit their website here

Contributed by Audrey L. Hollingshead

 

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