Legacy Cares Inc., the 501c3 organization that owns Bell Bank Park in Mesa, announced the organization is teaming up with Not Your Typical (NYT) Deli, the Autism Academy and Lexington Services to create a program called Not Your Typical Workforce (NYTW), a workplace development program aimed to address the employment gap for young adults with autism and other developmental disabilities. The program, which will launch this winter, provides a safe, friendly, exciting and challenging environment for these individuals to succeed in a typical workforce environment.
Young adults involved in the program will be scheduled over the course of 10 weeks to serve in various capacities at Bell Bank Park. They will learn basic communication and life skills with staff, procedures and responsibilities for positions in the ticketing, operations, guest services, and food and beverage departments, as well as participate in team building activities hosted by the Legacy Cares team.
“With the adoption of the Not Your Typical Workforce Program and Legacy Care’s partnership with Not Your Typical Deli, Bell Bank Park will become one of the most autism-friendly locations in Arizona,” said Douglas Moss, president of Legacy Cares. “We plan to shatter the stigma of Americans with autism through leading by example and showing companies what Americans with autism and developmental disabilities are capable of achieving in the workforce and beyond.”
NYT Deli is a company with an incredible reputation of assisting those who are underserved in Arizona. It is a delicatessen and bakery located in Gilbert that provides guests with a unique dining experience by employing an integrated work environment for individuals with autism.
"I’ve worked with Not Your Typical Deli for over three years. As a young adult with autism, I was hesitant about working with the public. I am very grateful to Chuck, Pam, Chef W, Vanessa and the entire team at NYTD for giving me the opportunity to work with them,” said Scott Bertoldo, trainer for Not Your Typical Workforce. “Over the course of working there, they have taught me many job skills which help me in the workforce and carry over to my everyday life. Having recently been promoted to trainer at NYTD, I am looking forward to helping others with developmental disabilities learn valuable work and life skills.”
Autism Academy for Education and Development is a K-12-plus program for students on the autism spectrum. They provide individualized education for all of their students and have been increasing their work-based learning program over the past several years. They are looking forward to this opportunity and building additional community partnerships.
“Roughly 60-80 percent of adults with autism in Arizona are unemployed, and it has long been Autism Academy’s mission to change that number. Our partnership with Legacy Cares is a very exciting step towards decreasing the unemployment rate in adults with autism and building a more inclusive work environment for everyone,” said Autism Academy Founder Laura Newcomb. “In the past, our school has attempted to partner with different companies to offer our students internships at different stores and restaurants and this is an incredible opportunity to expand on a mission that we share with Legacy Cares. We’re thankful to them for giving our students the resources and the opportunity to get experience, and to learn what it takes to be a successful member of the workforce. We are thrilled to be partners on this project that gives our students exposure to different jobs and give them an opportunity to leave high school with confidence, feeling ready to enter the workforce."
Lexington provides successful academic programs and therapies for all students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), offering in-center and in-home services for children and adults.
By offering employment opportunities at Bell Bank Park, the NYTW program will become the national example for how strategic community collaboration, innovative thinking and understanding of individuals with ASD can lead to successful employees in any industry.