WXYZ — Right now about 90 percent of adults on the autism spectrum are unemployed.
The Autism Alliance of Michigan, a Bingham Farms-based nonprofit, is working to change that.
The nonprofit is leading a statewide effort to create 101,000 jobs in the next decade for Michigan adults with autism.
"A job in many ways is what defines a person. It's what opens up opportunities to living independently..." said Colleen Allen, AAoM President and CEO.
The Autism Alliance of Michigan says creating jobs will help adults on the spectrum tackle key challenges. That includes access to therapies, housing, independence and improving their mental health.
"For those of us that have adult children on the spectrum that have part-time jobs, we've all experienced that the day that there is no work it's a down day, and the day there is a job there's something to look forward to..." explained Dave Meador, AAoM Chairman.
On Friday night, the nonprofit will hold its annual Michigan Shines for Autism Gala. This year it will be done virtually, giving guests even more ways to participate.
Money raised at the gala will be used to support the creation of new jobs for adults with autism right here in Michigan.
The gala is presented by DTE Foundation and the Ford Motor Company Fund with support from premier sponsor Delta Dental.
Additional support was provided by diamond sponsors Walker-Miller Energy Services, Multimatic, Raj & Wendy Nair, PVS Chemicals Inc, Magna, James & Ann Nicholson, David & Peggy Meador, OCG Companies, Lear and The Suburban Collection.