UPS Workforce Learning Lab/HIRE LA's Youth participants practicing their workplace skills
EWDD General Manager Jan Perry recently visited the United Parcel Services (UPS) Workforce Learning Lab in Culver City, the first HIRE LA’s Youth worksite for participants with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Dr. Pam Wiley, founder of the LA Speech and Language Therapy Center, credited Jan with inspiring the program to participate with the HIRE LA’s Youth Program and said the $10.50 an hour salary the participants received boosted their confidence.

The center partnered with UPS to create a workspace resembling a UPS store to give participants an opportunity to practice the social skills needed to succeed in the workplace. The ten participants in the program worked two four-hour shifts Tuesday through Friday, where they had an opportunity to develop soft skills in a protected space, preparing for jobs in the real world.

“They’re so proud of themselves and it just touches your heart,” said Linda Gross, job developer for the Los Angeles Speech and Language Therapy Center. “They’re just every day, ordinary boys who would like to take care of themselves.”

This story is part of the EWDD UPDATES Newsletter from the week of 3/5/2018. Read this issue and more.