Ten years ago, a small group of Chapel Hill parents came together to form a non-profit organization with a vision to create jobs and social opportunities for adults with autism and other developmental disabilities.
In 2007, at the height of the global financial crisis, these parents knew that the already underserved and underemployed autism community their children belonged to, would likely see very few job opportunities upon leaving high school. With studies estimating more than 500,000 adults with autism aging out of the school system over the course of 10 years, they realized this crisis extended far beyond their children. After a decade of community support and dedicated management, their vision has developed into an extraordinary and sustainable business model.
Extraordinary Ventures is different in that each of its businesses began with the employees. The unique skills and interests of the employees are at the core of every product and service that we have pursued and developed. It has been a labor of love, based on philosophies of “just give it a shot” and “if it doesn’t work, try something else”. Sounds simple, but many other groups working with this population have been paralyzed by trying to study and solve all the challenges that could arise before starting. We have learned that while our employees face many unique challenges, they also have many unique abilities that often go unrecognized.
Today, we have 6 businesses that employ more than 60 people. These businesses include: The Event Center at Extraordinary Ventures, EV Laundry, Office Solutions, EV Pets, Simple Clean, and EV Gifts.
We think that this is a story worth telling!
Listen to Paige Tell EV’s Story
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