Local non-profit grows job skills for young adults with autism

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A New Albany non-profit has found a way to offer young adults on the autism spectrum a safe space to learn job skills and interact with the community.

“Once you are out of high school services for individuals with autism actually kinda stop,” said Julie Sharp, co-founder of Lettuce Work, a company that provides spring salad kits for local grocery stores. “And, the unemployment rate, we were finding out was like 90s, 80s you know -- a really high percent.”

In addition to their salad services, Lettuce Work will soon open a retail nursery which will sell flowers, herbs and landscaping materials. Sharp says exposing the employees to retail gives them a chance to learn better public communication skills.

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“There is greeting people. There is helping to check out whatever products people want to buy,” Sharp explained.

Evan Brody is currently employed by Lettuce Work.

“I learned there’s a lot of teamwork around here. That’s something that’s really important,” Brody said. “I pretty much like everything around here!”

All employees are between the ages of 18-23. The Lettuce Work nursery is set to open April 27th.

Click here for more information on the program.