Autism Awareness Month: Two Years and Going Strong

We always love to give back at Sweaty Bands, but Autism Awareness month has had a special meaning to us ever since we hired fulfillment staff member Jack two years ago. He is always one of our top performing employees, and brings immense amounts of joy to our office. To elaborate more on Jack's role and how we became lucky enough to have him as a coworker, his wonderful mom, Therese Wantuch, has written a guest blog post for us. We hope you take a minute read through it and consider the benefits of embracing diversity at your workplace, if you haven't already! xo, SB Our son is coming up on his second anniversary of becoming an employee of Sweaty Bands, a woman-owned business that sees the value in diversity. Finding the right fit and the right company is not easy when you have autism, but it can be done with tenacity and finding the right company to take a chance. Sweaty Bands has been a great employer and supporter of autism causes. Not only do they donate to Autism Speaks, they hired a person with autism, which is not just putting lip service to the cause. The Sweaty Band headquarters is less than three miles from our home and so when we started on the job search for Jack, who happens to have high functioning autism/Asperger’s Syndrome, it was a company we knew well and had read a lot about in the local press. Our first visit to the company was foretelling. We were greeted immediately and things were buzzing at the warehouse with a mission. The staff was very nice to us and there was no “alarm” we had felt when we visited other employers when Jack mentioned he had autism and had worked at an amusement park for six summers prior to looking for this job. The supervisor we met with immediately said they would be happy to consider Jack and that she would talk with the owners and for us to contact them back in a week. A week later we contacted Sweaty Bands and Jack went in with his job coach for an interview. Before the interview, we went to and had Jack look up each Sweaty Band category and we printed each section of each page. We wanted him to know the product well. We killed a few ink jets that day! The plethora of bands and styles were so vast, but Jack was getting the hang of it. People with autism usually are very good at recognizing patterns and counting has always been a strong suit for him. We wanted him to be prepared for the interview and know what the job would entail. He got the job and started a week later. He was on probation for 90 days and then became a full time employee thereafter. Two years later, he still enjoys going to work each day and the company and the employees have been very accepting of him. He is taking classes at nearby Gateway Community College to start to learn programming and Sweaty Bands has been great in letting him take time off when he needs a class during work hours. He is also a talented cello player and during the warehouse sale, Jack played cello for the employees and the customers. Thanks Sweaty Bands for taking a chance on an incredibly talented young man who is not your typical employee, but who wants to work hard and see Sweaty Bands succeed! -Therese Wantuch – one proud mother! P.S. Please help us support Autism Speaks by shopping our Charitable Cause awareness print here! (15% goes back!)
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