Adults with Autism Find Jobs with Safelite AutoGlass
BOSTON – www.safelite.com/ is benefitting from internship programs made possible by www.massgeneral.org/children/aspire/default.aspx program, which helps children, teens and adults with a high cognitive autism spectrum disorder or a related social profile make social connections and develop independence. Participants learn age and developmentally appropriate skills needed to succeed at home, school, in their communities or in the work place. The company recently hired two interns as permanent part-time employees in their Billerica SuperCenter.
Dan Peters started his internship with Safelite in March 2014 as a warehouse associate in the quality control department that verifies store shipments. After his internship ended, Safelite offered him a permanent position. Today, he is a certified driver and delivers Safelite’s vehicle glass products daily to its Maine and New Hampshire locations.
Michael Alejunas began his internship in November 2014 also in Safelite’s Billerica SuperCenter. Mike has an associate’s degree in computer programming from North Shore Community College. As early as his first day he made several observations on how the company could speed up the network connection. Mike also was offered a permanent position with Safelite after his internship was complete. Today he helps with productivity management of more than 150 mobile technicians and inventory control. He creates and analyzes reports for the market… simplifying some and expanding on others so market leaders can make better informed business decisions.
Reflecting on the importance of the Aspire program, Safelite’s Boston-based District Manager Chris Cristiano said, “It has been one of the most rewarding endeavors of my career. Aspire does not just place interns in your business, they place people, people who want to make a difference and want a place to belong. This program is not just about giving someone work experience, it’s about opening your heart to a person who wants a chance to show you they can contribute. The rewards of the program simply cannot be measured.”
Safelite has been a good fit for both Dan and Michael. Dan is happy working at Safelite and feels grateful he’s more than a number. “I’ve met the CEO twice and it’s cool that he knows who I am,” Dan explained. “I wasn’t going anywhere in my last job. Here there is opportunity for more hours and to move up. I feel appreciated and well respected here.”
Michael also sees opportunities to advance at Safelite. “It’s a good job, a job where I know what I’m doing, and a job where everyone around me is friendly,” he said. “In the future, I hope to gain more hours and eventually take on a full-time position.”
Aside from the impact the program has on the intern themselves there are impacts in so many other people’s lives. Cristiano explained, “The families of the interns who watch their kids get up every morning and go to work with a purpose has a profound lasting effect. I can sum that effect up from a line in a letter a received from an intern’s father, ‘you put a comma in his life where others have put a period’.”
Safelite’s other employees have also been positively impacted. “I have talked to a lot of employees within my own company who also have children with Autism,” Cristiano said, “knowing that the company they work for is involved in this program gives them a sense of pride and a sense of hope.”
About Safelite AutoGlass®
Safelite AutoGlass® is the nation’s largest provider of vehicle glass repair and replacement services with 5,000 MobileGlassShops™ and company stores in all 50 states. Each year, more than 4.8 million customers choose Safelite for its 24/7 national contact centers, advanced online scheduling, superior repair and replacement systems, and the industry’s only nationwide lifetime guarantee. Founded in 1947, the Columbus, Ohio-based company employs more than 12,000 people across the United States. For more information, visit www.safelite.com/, or follow us on www.facebook.com/safelite and twitter.com/safelite.