October 24, 2013
Cargill Excelsior Crossings in Hopkins
More details to come!
More than 750 employers, families, service providers, and individuals affected by autism gathered at 3M headquarters to raise awareness about employment and ASD on Oct. 9. Employers and those seeking employment were motivated by keynote speakers Dr. Stephen Shore, Author and Professor at Adelphi University, and Randy Lewis, Senior Vice President for Supply Chain and Logistics, Walgreens.
"The speakers were excellent," April Schnell, Specialisterne USA, said. "The presentations added to the sense of momentum on the wonderful work that is going on in your organization and the community."
Sherry Kenny, AuSM's Executive Director/CEO noted, "We believe AuSM has created a state wide movement on the awareness of educating our employers to this untapped talent pool."
"Having so many in attendance again this year is the mark of progress, these results are an indicator that we are enhancing the lives of those affected by ASD, in our quest to improve employment opportunities," Kenny said.
Dr. Shore spoke of the challenges he has faced as an individual living with ASD. He advised employers to look towards strengths.
"Find the strengths of individuals with ASD and use those for fulfillment and productivity," Dr. Shore said.
Lewis's message was positive and proactive as he encouraged employers to open their minds to the gifts of autism in the workplace.
"The satisfaction of our success does not compare to the satisfaction of making another successful," Lewis said.
During the sessions, Kim Peck, Vocational Rehabilitation Services, presented the 2012 AuSM Employment Awards to Medtronic, MnDOT and Wells Fargo for their achievements in increasing awareness and promoting a diverse, inclusive culture within their companies.
The Leadership Summit Lunch with special guest Lucinda Jesson, MN Department of Human Services Commissioner, and the Lunch with the Autism Experts were informative and served as great networking opportunities.
Scott Badesch, President and Chief Operating Officer of the Autism Society of America said the Autism & Employment Forum was beyond wonderful. "As a professional, I found it heartwarming to see how good the work you are doing to help open so many new doors for so many," he said.
"As a father of a child with autism, I was given further hope that the world my adult son will grow up in will be one of kindness and caring for him as an employee."
AuSM would like to extend a special thank you to everyone who made the Autism & Employment Forum 2012 a wonderful success: event co-founders, 3M, Best Buy and Cargill; our Gold, Silver and Bronze sponsors; the moderators and speakers, including the keynote speakers, Dr. Stephen Shore and Randy Lewis; Lucinda Jesson, MN Department of Human Services Commissioner, the special guest speaker at the Leadership Summit Luncheon; the Dakota County Technical College speakers; the leaders and experts who directed the Lunch with the Experts; the many 3M volunteers who served as guides for all participants; those who helped with the planning and organization to ready the facility; and especially all employers, hiring managers, educators, caregivers, and individuals with ASD who spent the day learning about the gifts and talents individuals with autism bring to the workplace and to our lives. Your presence and dedication helps AuSM realize its mission of enhancing the lives of those affected by ASD through employment opportunities. Thank you.
"I've always strived to create a work enviornment where you would want your children to work. I think employers should have a broad view of the talents people with different skills bring to a work force."
- Dave Baudler, President, Cargill AgHorizons
“We are committed to creating an inclusive work environment that supports different work styles. It is important that we help people with different work styles be successful. We also need to be able to recognize and leverage the unique capabilities of current and potential employees.”
- Clydie Douglass, 3M’s Chief Diversity Officer
Autism is the fastest growing developmental disability in Minnesota, making it more important now than ever to reach out and work together to foster education, change, acceptance and investment.
Despite deficits in social interactions, workers on the spectrum excel in many areas employers desire in their top employees - singular focus, loyalty, high productivity and innovative thinking. With adaptations, you can create an environment that supports all employees while welcoming the gifts of the autism spectrum into your workplace.
With more than 40 years of experience in education, advocacy and support, AuSM has dedicated significant time and resources to foster relationships with corporations across Minnesota and to help professionals understand the benefits of employing adults with autism. Learn how top MN companies have put autism to work!
Talent and skills aren't enough to get hired. And doing a job well doesn't ensure job security. Not when social deficits stand in the way. But with awareness comes acceptance.
This forum sets things in motion for individuals with ASD to focus on their talents and gifts to get employed and keep their jobs. Come and learn what employers are doing to support employees, like you, who bring dedication, productivity and innovation to their companies. Educators, families and individuals with autism will learn how to turn autism into an asset through meaningful work.
Autism & Employment Forum 2012
Thank you, Sponsors!
Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development
Vocational Rehabilitation Services
For more information about AuSM’s employment programs, click here.
AuSM Cancellation Policy
Notification of cancellation: If an event is cancelled or postponed, AuSM will attempt to notify you via phone, using the phone number provided with your registration. We also will post notice of cancellations and postponements on www.ausm.org.
Cancellation by event organizer: AuSM reserves the right to cancel an event due to low registrations or other circumstances that make the event non-viable. If AuSM cancels an event, registrants will be offered a full refund. If the event is postponed, registrants will have the option to either receive a full refund or transfer registration to the same event at the new, future date.