In 2012, Tom D'eri and his family founded Rising Tide Car Wash in order to employ his brother Andrew, who is on the autism spectrum. From this point they made the goal to have 80% of their staff people who are also on the spectrum, in order to help them get support and training for entering the work force.
D'eri says the business was designed around the needs for those with autism. They fill roles in every department at the car wash, including greeting customers and managing the location.
"You can't marginalize 80% of your staff," he says. "We have neuro-diversity through out the entire organizational chart at this point."
The company is one of the largest employers in the U.S. to employ people with autism. D'eri says when they started Rising Tides, there weren't a lot of others doing the same thing. Now, he says there are many organizations that have joined the effort.
"I think the most rewarding thing for us is that we've seen our team members move on to other jobs that are more aligned with things they want to do," he says.
Since opening about 75% of their staff has moved onto other jobs or pursued higher education.
Rising Tides is now opening a third location, allowing them to employ even more people. Currently they are hiring manager level positions, and over summer they will begin hiring other staff members. If you'd like to learn more or apply to be part of the team, head to risingtidecarwash.com