Paramus, NJ -- (SBWIRE) -- 03/26/2014 -- Alpine Learning Group and Dunkin Donuts announce a strategic partnership providing meaningful jobs for adults with autism. The opportunity represents an expansion of Alpine Learning Group’s Supported Employment Program, which pairs adults with autism with a job coach to provide on-the-job training and skill development.
Franchise owner Mitch Baker initiated the partnership and employed the first two participants in January 2014. “When I spoke with Alpine Learning Group and came to understand the lack of meaningful employment for adults with autism, I did not hesitate to make a change,” said Baker. “Alpine is doing amazing work in the field of autism, both locally and internationally, and I knew we could be a part of that.” Baker reports, “The two men we employ from Alpine Learning Group have been an asset to our store – arriving on time, working diligently and making tremendous progress in the short time that they have been here. Our store hosts a fair number of ‘regulars’ who have also come to know our two newest employees and have been supportive of the initiative.”
Alpine Adult Program Director, Erin Richard White, has been impressed with the ease with which the partnership began. “Mitch really paved the way for us. Light custodial work is perfect for the two adult participants working at Dunkin Donuts. The first few days were uncertain for everyone, but soon we established a rhythm and began breaking each larger task into smaller activities – working through the chain over and over. The guys have gone from being shown what to do every step of the way, to completing their assigned work and seeking out additional tasks – all in a matter of a month.”
Dr. Bridget A. Taylor, Co-founder and Executive Director of Alpine Learning Group feels strongly about expanding opportunity for autistic adults. “There is truly a crisis both locally and nationally for adults with autism. After age 21 the absence of employment opportunities for our adults is striking, and the situation is worsening as job placements and state funding fail to keep pace with autism diagnoses. In response, Alpine Learning Group is establishing the Ely Center for Adult Learning, a 13,000 square foot, state-of-the-art center here in Paramus, which will break ground this year. We plan for this center to be a model for other adult programs, similar to the way our education program has been a model for the past 25 years.”
In honor of Autism Awareness Month and in support of Alpine Learning Group, Team Baker Strategic Group is offering a free, one pound bag of Dunkin Donuts coffee to anyone donating $100 or more to Alpine Learning Group during the month of April. If you are interested in donating, please visit www.alpinelearninggroup.org and click on ‘Make a Donation.” A coffee voucher will be mailed to you at the end of the month for use at the Midland Park Dunkin Donuts only – 74 Godwin Avenue.
About Alpine Learning Group
Alpine Learning Group provides learners with autism and their families comprehensive, scientifically-validated educational and behavioral services designed to foster individual growth and personal achievement. Alpine Learning Group opened its doors in 1989 as one of the first nonprofit autism education centers in Bergen County. Located in Paramus, Alpine Learning Group serves learners and families across their lifespan through its education, adult, and outreach programs. For more information, visit www.alpinelearninggroup.org or call 201-612-7800.