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Community-Supporting Bakeries

The 'Puzzles Bakery & Cafe' Employs Adults with Autism

— February 5, 2016 — Social Good
The 'Puzzles Bakery & Cafe' in Schenectady, New York, hires adults with autism in order to give people with developmental disabilities an opportunity for personal and professional growth. While some companies have taken steps to foster more inclusive hiring practices, many adults with disabilities still have difficulty finding employment. This bakery is trying to solve this problem by hiring people on the autism spectrum.

In addition to serving freshly baked goods and artisan sandwiches, Puzzles Bakery & Cafe also helps support adults in the community with autism. The bakery hires these individuals to give them a source of income, an outlet for social interaction and a greater sense of purpose. In short, the bakery wants to give adults with autism the same employment opportunities as non-disabled individuals.

With 1 in 68 US adults affected by Autism, this bakery demonstrates how inclusive hiring practices can make a world of difference for those with developmental disabilities.
Trend Themes
1. Inclusive Hiring Practices - The bakery demonstrates the trend towards inclusive hiring practices, providing opportunities for adults with autism.
2. Community-supporting Businesses - Puzzles Bakery & Cafe exemplifies the trend of businesses providing support and employment opportunities for specific communities, such as adults with autism.
3. Supporting Individuals with Developmental Disabilities - The bakery addresses the trend of businesses focusing on supporting and empowering individuals with developmental disabilities, in this case, those on the autism spectrum.
Industry Implications
1. Hospitality and Food Service - The hospitality and food service industry can explore opportunities for inclusive hiring practices and supporting individuals with developmental disabilities, as exemplified by Puzzles Bakery & Cafe.
2. Social Enterprise - The social enterprise industry can find disruptive innovation opportunities by creating businesses that provide employment and support to specific communities, like Puzzles Bakery & Cafe does for adults with autism.
3. Disability Services - The disability services industry can take inspiration from Puzzles Bakery & Cafe's approach to providing employment opportunities and support for individuals with developmental disabilities, such as autism.
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