Another way EV can expand its impact is to reach out and assist others around the country attracted to the EV model and interested in establishing jobs for adults in their home areas.
The EV model has the following pillars:
- The jobs are designed around the skills and interests of the people.
- The businesses focus on reliable needs and markets in the community.
- The businesses are managed on strong professional business principles.
- The organization breaks even with the support of an annual fund.
Put another way, the jobs are flexible, the businesses are “real”—not a social program—, and the businesses generate enough income to support themselves, typically with some help in the early years from friends and families.
The promise is an organization that supports the employment needs of dozens of individuals who otherwise may be sitting at home, inactive, and unemployed.
To pursue this avenue of expansion, EV has entered into an exclusive joint venture arrangement with four groups who are each leaders in their own right in the autism world. The groups include Doug Flutie, Jr., Foundation for Autism (Boston); Foundation for Empowering Adults with Autism [FECA] (New York); Sweetwater Spectrum (California); and Autism Alliance of Michigan/Oakland University (Michigan).
“We’re very excited about it. These are top-drawer partners. They see the EV model as something they can do successfully and we can learn together,” said former board member Gregg Ireland.
According to one of the partners, EV has a formula that can work in many places.
“Taking EV’s advice, we’ve started with a laundry service on Oakland’s campus. We’ve got four employees and a small but growing customer base,” added Kemp.
In a few years, perhaps there will be a handful of organizations called “Extraordinary Ventures” in other parts of the country. You are encouraged to stay tuned.