BOCA RATON, Fla - The workers on the autism spectrum at the All-Tag office are doing something that is bucking a national trend. They have convinced the company to end its outsourcing and do the work here.
"It's a win-win," said Andy Gilbert, the vice president for sales at All-Tag. "They get to work and make money, and we're actually saving money doing the same thing we were doing in Hong Kong."
At the company's headquarters in Boca Raton, they manufacture anti-theft labels used by stores. The employees on the spectrum eliminate the tags that don't meet specifications.
The program is in conjunction with the Palm Beach County School District which provides the supervisor, as the 18-to-22-year-olds learn job skills and get a paycheck.
The idea started a year ago when the Autism After 21 program got Sam Rogerson and Scott Rubin part-time jobs at All-Tag.
"Sam and Scott did such a great job, we decided to bring on more," said Gilbert.
It's now grown to six paid positions at the company for those on the spectrum.
The results have been a pleasant surprise for those at All-Tag, who didn't know what to expect when they first hired them.
"They're great," said Gilbert. "They're very hard working, they're very punctual, they're very skilled, they do a great job."
Now the company's facility in Hong Kong is closed, and all the work is being done in Boca Raton. At this company, they say hiring those on the autism spectrum makes financial sense and common sense.
"As long as we're producing the product here in the U.S., we're going to need more and more of them to come help us out," said Gilbert.