Autism Workforce > Customers

A Tailored Solution

HSM is an American manufacturer of tailored menswear with headquarters in Chicago, Illinois. Doug William, CEO, was motivated by his own experience of having a son with autism and by the growing number of employment-aged adults with autism, to hire from this untapped workforce. However, to create jobs that would be purposeful to HSM, sustainable for the individuals with autism and to successfully prepare his current employees he realized he could not do this alone. After reading the New York Times Article about David Geslak, he gave him a call.

Together Doug, David and the Autism Workforce team helped to pioneer employment processes for hiring those with autism in a manufacturing setting. In total, HSM hired 7 individuals in 4 different departments (customer service, special orders, distribution and information technology). These results are why Universities and researchers flocked to understand how they made this happen – especially for autistic individuals who are not perceived to be on the high end of the spectrum.

Tracking Data, Writing Code, and Thriving

Oliver Wyman is a global business management consultancy firm specializing in services to assist companies across industries improve their performance by providing expertise in operations, strategy, organization and risk management. With its headquarters in New York City, Oliver Wyman employs over 5,000 professionals in 60 cities across 29 countries.

After hiring a candidate in the actuarial consulting department in Chicago, they quickly found that his skills exceeded their expectations. OW has since expanded his hours and responsibilities and he continues to excel. He has been working for OW for over 2 years.

Solving Workforce Challenges...Together

IMEC is a team of improvement specialists and technicians dedicated to providing organizations in Illinois with the tools and techniques to create sustainable competitive futures. The experienced hands-on team at IMEC works closely with its clients to plan critical business improvements in the areas of Leadership, Strategy, Customer Engagement, Operations, and Workforce.

Maria Moran, IMEC Regional Manager, was consistently hearing from businesses that their biggest challenge was finding a consistent workforce in entry level positions. After having toured Autism Workforce jobs at Hart Schaffner Marx, Maria recognized that they Autism Workforce was in many ways doing 5S processes – but with an autism twist. She believed this could be a partnership to not only help companies but also help a talented workforce in need of meaningful employment. Thus, the AW & IMEC partnership began

Punctual, Dependable, and Happily Working with Everyone

Gilster-Mary Lee (GML) is a leading Private Label food manufacturer, headquartered in Chester, Illinois. GML produces over 8,000 items in over 500 different private label brands. Approximately 3,000 employees work in 14 different manufacturing facilities across four states.

GML was impacted with employee turnover during COVID-19 and after speaking IMEC expert, Maria Moran, called on Autism Workforce to help fill some positions with those with autism. From October 2020 til February 2020 GML successfully hired five individuals in their Pasta Plant. GML is now expanding to other plants.

Scanning their Way to Better Business

For over three years, Prater Industries (Bolingbrook, IL) struggled to find employees to consistently and successfully scan, upload and organize their age-old documents – 70 years worth! Because the job is tedious, it was difficult for Prater to retain staff.  The leadership team at Prater reached out to IMEC to help them solve their challenge. The IMEC expert introduced Prater leadership to the idea of creating a neurodiverse work environment with Autism Workforce.

When COVID hit, it was still vital to keep scanning these documents because having them available digitally was making the sales team job easier and efficient. Autism Workforce and Prater worked together to do this process remotely and their employee with autism was able to transition but is now scanning even more documents per week.

Creating a Spark in their Factory and Community

G&W Electric engineers flexible solutions for companies in the utility, industrial and commercial sectors.The involvement of all employees within G&W Electric is an integral component of the continued progress and commitment to quality. In 2019 G&W was discussing their social impact initiatives, as serindioudly, IMEC expert Maria Moran reached out.

After talking with G&W HR team, Maria discovered that they were using skilled workers to complete entry level tasks. This was reducing productivity for G&W and not leveraging the strengths of their skilled workforce. After meeting with Autism Workforce, G&W hired two individuals. And a bonus to G&W was they also hired an engineer with autism. After applying for the entry-level position, G&W was impressed by his degree and made him part of the paid internship program – of which he is now a full time employee. In 2021, G&W began their hiring efforts again in entry level positions, for two more hires. And who knows, maybe they will get another unexpected hire!

Temp Agencies? Not Always the Reliable or Cost-Effective Solution

Originally founded in 1974, in Elgin, Illinois as Wise-Hamlin Plastics, later becoming Wise Plastics Technologies, Inc., today operates in a world-class manufacturing facility in St. Charles, Illinois. They have enjoyed continuous growth for the past forty-six years through innovation, building a team of skilled industry professionals and relying on the latest manufacturing technologies and lean manufacturing principles.

Wise Plastics, a client of IMEC, was also experiencing staffing issues in entry level positions, as well as the high cost of using temp. Agenices to find employees. In 2020, they worked with Autism Workforce to hire two individuals with autism and continue their efforts to find more available positions.