Dogtopia Rolls Out Initiative to Hire Adults with Autism
Dogtopia has begun a national initiative to hire adults with autism. As part of the roll out, the Phoenix-based company partnered with the Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC) and the Dogtopia Foundation to build a system-wide Autism Employment Manual. The manual is designed to equip the company’s 100-plus franchise locations with the tools needed to hire employees with autism.
“Nationally, it’s reported that 86 percent of adults living with autism spectrum disorder are either underemployed or unemployed,” said Daniel Openden, Ph.D., president and CEO of SARRC. “We hope this employment manual not only helps serve as a resource, but a roadmap to franchise owners across the U.S. We’re grateful to partners like Dogtopia that are committed to building opportunities for people seeking the chance to contribute through meaningful, competitive employment in our community.”
The manual is split into five sections to educate and inform Dogtopia owners on best ways to hire, train and make a difference in the lives of employees with autism, according to company officials. It also teaches and guides owners on how to diversify their teams while bringing on a dedicated employee with a unique set of skills, officials added.
“Across the country, Dogtopia currently employs nearly 20 adults living with autism, and we are hoping this manual provides a valuable tool to help ensure our day care centers are equipped to hire an adult with autism and ensure a positive experience for both them and the team,” said Neil Gill, president and CEO of Dogtopia and chairman of the Dogtopia Foundation.