This Car Wash Is on a Mission to Employ Individuals with Autism

Season 1 Episode 106
Aired on 04/08/2017 | CC tv-14
When John and Tom D’Eri realized their autistic family member, Andrew, would soon age out of the school system and have no job prospects, they decided to do something about it. They founded Rising Tide Car Wash, a business that hires individuals across the autism spectrum and teaches them job skills to help put them on a path toward independent living.

"As a society, we look at autism as a disability that requires sympathy, instead of a potentially really valuable diversity," Tom says.

Tom has been working to help his community better understand the skill set individuals with autism bring to business, and now, he hopes to expand that message. Along with opening a second car wash in Florida that will employ another 50 employees with autism, the company has big plans for growth. Watch to see how business owners around the country can get involved.

OWN's uplifting docuseries The Hero Effect brings to life the stories of ordinary individuals who are making extraordinary differences in their communities. It airs monthly on Saturdays at 10 a.m. ET/PT.