Podcast Episode 46. What happens to young people with additional needs when they finish full-time education? How will they find employment? How will they cope on their own throughout adulthood? One organization helping to provide some of the answers to these questions is Invictus Enterprises based in New York. In this week’s podcast, we hear from Alison Berkely co-founder of Invictus Enterprises about how they are helping young people with autism acquire the work skills they need to get into paid sustainable employment.
During the 2017 Holiday Season, Microsoft's Wish Machine Contest was open to anyone with a "heart for others and a philanthropic spirit":
Microsoft used four criteria to judge each entry:
- Heartwarming — the wish much be inspiring, human and powerful because of the nature, intent and meaning behind the wish. (40 percent)
- Philanthropic — The wish is inherently generous and considers that the greater good of others over oneself. (20 percent)
- The wish aligns with Sponsor's mission to help people realize their full potential and achieve more. (20 percent)
- Sponsor can determine a prize that can be reasonably provided within 2-3 months of the Contest end that fulfills the wish submitted. (20 percent)
Invictus Enterprises was fortunate to win the following during the Wish Machine Contest:
- 4 Microsoft Surface Pros, Invoke Speaker, Type Covers, 2 Tumi Carry Cases, and a Stylus Pen.
Microsoft is also doing pioneering work with SAP, JP Morgan Chase, EY, Ford Motor Company, and DXC technologies in hiring Autistic adults into their business units. This group has launched the Autism Employer Roundtable, which is a coalition focused on helping other companies advance their hiring approach for people with Autism. These are all VERY powerful steps for our workforce at Invictus Enterprises !! Technology in the kitchen, and now the potential for technology hiring.
Microsoft wanted to come into the Invictus kitchen last weekend to see their technology in action in the Invictus kitchen, and we were very surprised when they:
- Brought in such a large film crew for a feature film they are shooting, and
- Microsoft donated 6 additional Surface Pros !!
Each Surface Pro “Kit” includes:
- One Surface Pro, Type Cover, Carry Case, Bluetooth Air Mouse, Stylus Pen, and charger - all contained within a snazzy tech-friendly backpack.
Thank you Microsoft, and now the tables turn back to Invictus Enterprises. How can Invictus empower our workforce inside and outside the kitchen?
As our new program in partnership with the New York City Department of Education kicks off this summer, Microsoft’s gift to us was sublimely timed. We will be providing in-depth training in our production, packaging and shipping, and sales processes to District 75 transitions classes for students aged 18-21 years. All too often, the students and populations who would benefit the most from technology and the adaptive tools employed within, lack access to it. Now, we are equipped with the latest and greatest technology to share with our friends and soon-to-be trainees at the DOE – opening access to an entirely new group of students ready to learn all the skills they need to go to work!
Technology is the bridge between our trainees and leading lives full of productivity by creating jobs for autistic adults. Artful adaptations are at the heart of Invictus – the use of specialized software and Microsoft Surface laptops emboldens our trainees and team members as they access, learn and master the production process. This generous gift of six Surface Pro kits (in addition to their original game-changing gift over the holidays) means that we can help more people to engage in work from which they would otherwise be cut off. It is the catalyst for opportunity - where capable young adults can show the world what they can do. With this gift we can continue to empower the greatest workforce in the world. The campaign name is not lost on us: The #EmpoweringPossibility campaign and Microsoft Team came to our Invictus Kitchen and did just that, Empowered Possibility. For this, we can not say thank you enough. Yet, we can and will continue on our mission to show the world what productive citizenry for all looks like.
Stay tuned to the Invictus BeU blog and our social media feeds for updates on how our partnership with Microsoft continues to improve lives and put talented people to WORK!
An achievement is an achievement. For some of us, eating in a restaurant and talking in full sentences comes naturally. For others, these task are major accomplishments. This month, we want to acknowledge the awesome achievements of our Bakers.
April 1st is the first day of National Autism Awareness Month. Our goal at Invictus Enterprises is to move beyond awareness and to celebrate "Autism Abilities Month". Our Bakers have been working very hard at our "Work Readiness Clinics":
And our Sales Team has been "pounding the pavement" of Manhattan.
This month, help us to shine a light on accomplishments - big and small. Send us your pics and clips to celebrate your greatest accomplishments. Please send you clips and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is our Baker Dustin Sweeney surfing and hiking on his down time from the kitchen.
"Meet Oscar" is my personal favorite film, as the film shows the breakthrough of taking our staff out of the kitchen and into the "Real World" to sell our "No Bones About It" dog biscuits door to door in Manhattan. This is really profound in the modern world of Amazon on-line ordering for everything. Oscar breaks all the modern rules, goes "old school", and is a charming salesman in the film.
Invictus Enterprises does not work without the support of our growing community, and our friends have given us nothing but positive feedback about our videos which are all produced by Elaine Kavanagh of Sweet Beast Productions. We want to show our Bakers and Salespeople from all angles of the Autism Spectrum, and Elaine captures that magic in all of her films. Elaine has a love for telling stories that illuminate the ignored and overlooked, and her films show that nothing is insignificant. It also helps that Elaine is a Dog Lover!!
Here's our newest video from Sweet Beast Productions - Hear what our Invictus Family has to say about our team and how much they love their jobs. We all have dreams for our children. We all aspire to love our jobs and wake up in the morning excited to go to WORK. Invictus empowers an as-of-yet untapped work force. Our team is seizing the day - showing what they can do and proving that having a purpose in life creates happiness. From our family to yours, here's to gettin' to work and being unconquerable!
**SHAMELESS PLUG - Buy our biscuits at the Invictus Shop and keep our guys and gals up to their elbows in WORK!!!