The following is an excerpt from an article in the Bloomberg Businessweek that features Green Bridge Growers, who won the Klau Family Prize for Greatest Social Impact as part of the annual McCloskey Business Plan Competition sponsored by the Gigot Center for Entrepreneurial Studies. To read the entire article visit: Mission: Jobs for adults with autism
It's called the "90 percent problem" -- the percentage of autistic adults who are either unemployed or underemployed.
Green Bridge Growers, a startup business at Innovation Park at Notre Dame, is working on a solution.
The company is combining a sustainable, year-round method for growing organic produce with a mission to create jobs for people with autism.
Green Bridge plans to use aquaponics -- a practice for raising fish and growing vegetables together in a closed-loop system -- as a model for helping people with autism find a place in the work force.
Jan Pilarski, a South Bend resident and University of Notre Dame graduate, was inspired to start the business after seeing her son, Chris Tidmarsh, struggle to land steady employment, despite earning degrees in chemistry and environmental studies in 2010 at Hope College.