Project HOPE Foundation Partners with Big Brain Staffing to Help Adults with Autism Gain Employment

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Project HOPE Foundation and Big Brain Staffing partner to help a local group of young adults with autism earn paychecks.

employment ofautistic adults

Young adults with autism at work

We got our first pallet of work, thinking that it would take the group a week to finish it … Instead, they finished that pallet in the first day.

In Upstate South Carolina, a group of young adults with autism are earning paychecks while exceeding every productivity goal. They were able to label over 11,400 food pouches in less the two weeks. In the process, they are practicing communication skills and building relationships.

Project HOPE Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides wide-ranging services to individuals with autism, recently partnered with Big Brain Staffing to interview and train a small workforce.

Big Brain Staffing focuses on finding employment for adults with autism. With an unemployment rate exceeding 90%, this population frequently languishes at home. In response to Big Brain's search for work, GICS Foods offered 10 pallets of product to be labeled as a pilot project.

Barbara Stone Foundation responded to Project HOPE's grant request to fund incentives for the employees and oversight of the project.

The employee team of adults with autism has exceeded every expectation. "We got our first pallet of work, thinking that it would take the group a week to finish it," says Dawn Clayman, President of Big Brain Staffing. "Instead, they finished that pallet in the first day!"

"We were amazed not only at how quickly they became a team doing a job but also at the sense of camaraderie that quickly developed," reports Mark Knight, a program director with Project HOPE Foundation.

Along with compensation from GICS Foods, the group received gift cards funded by the Barbara Stone Foundation. According to Dawn Clayman, "The smiles when those cards were distributed were priceless."

About Project HOPE Foundation
The Project HOPE Foundation is a non-profit organization that helps those suffering from autism spectrum disorders. The Project HOPE Foundation has four primary programs: Hope Link, which has been serving as a resource to families with members suffering from autism; Hope Reach, which provides therapy focusing on language, behavioral, social, and cognitive skills to children with autism; Hope Academy, an inclusion-based school that has served more than 1,000 children; and Hope Alive, for young adults who need ongoing support in academics, life skills, and vocational opportunities. For more information, visit

About Big Brain Staffing
Headquartered near Greenville, South Carolina, Big Brain Staffing (BBS) in an innovative staffing service focused on placing individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in competitive employment. BBS’s mission is to create taxpayers, promote independence, and foster community social inclusion. BBS offers an array of employment options: long term and short term, temporary to direct, and direct placements. Through its payroll services, BBS works to maximize wages and minimize any detrimental impact on funding currently received by the client. For more information, visit

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Lisa Lane
Project HOPE Foundation, Inc.
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