When you pull up to Rising Tide Car Wash in Parkland, Florida, you'll receive top-notch, quality service. After a good cleaning, your windows will be crystal clear, your tires dirt-free and your car sparkling.
But there's something a little different about this car wash that sets it apart from the rest — 35 of its 43 employees are on the autism spectrum.
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke defines autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as "a range of complex neurodevelopment disorders, characterized by social impairments, communication difficulties, and restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior."
But people with ASD make perfect employees for Rising Tide.
"We view autism as one of our key competitive advantages."
Being hyper-attentive to detail can be one result of having ASD — A great quality to have if you're, say, a car wash employee.
That's why, in the video above, COO Tom D'Eri says, "We [Rising Tide] view autism as one of our key competitive advantages."
But the car wash and its employees have a symbiotic relationship: The employees on the autism spectrum enjoy the work, and the car wash empowers them by providing employment through "easy to learn, process driven labor."
CEO John D'Eri was originally inspired to establish the business by his son Andrew, who is also on the autism spectrum. "I don't want him [Andrew] to sit in a room, taken care of by others once I'm gone," says D'Eri in the video above. "I want him to have a job. I want him to have friends that are like him, so this car wash creates an answer for Andrew..."
The car wash doesn't only provide an answer for Andrew, but for an entire community of people with autism.
Rising Tide describes itself as "a car wash for change" that supports people with ASD by providing "living wages, career advancement opportunities and independent living skills and self-advocacy training."
But luckily, they are one of many dedicated to this cause.
Rising Tide Car Wash was created by CanDo Business Ventures, an organization that develops several consumer-driven businesses also specifically dedicated to hiring people with ASD.