Whether it’s designing unique travel trailers, pioneering the use of new manufacturing processes, or exploring ways to use innovative technology, Keystone has always been a leader in the RV industry. Now, the company is showing that its leadership role extends to supporting its neurodiverse employees by creating an environment that helps them achieve their full potential.
Neurodiversity is a term used to describe the unique ways our brains work, which differs for each individual. This diversity helps set us apart from one another, allowing some of us to be creative thinkers while others are more analytical, critical, or abstract in their thought processes.
Those who are considered neurodivergent are often diagnosed with ADHD, dyslexia, and autism, along with other cognitive and behavioral conditions. In the past, those conditions have frequently been misunderstood, making it challenging for neurodivergent people to feel supported in a work environment or find employment at all. Keystone RV is looking to change that by creating a workplace that welcomes these individuals and provides them with the tools they need to succeed.
“The CDC published a study in March that estimates one in 36 eight-year-olds are affected by autism spectrum disorder. Sadly, we know that today 85% of people with neurodiversity are unemployed,” said Keystone’s Suzi Swinehart in a press release announcing the new initiative. An expert in behavior intervention and coaching, she adds, “That’s unacceptable, and we can do something about it. We have the opportunity to develop a supportive and safe work environment so these individuals can enjoy the social benefits of a work community and the security of a paycheck.”
Keystone has joined forces with Goodwill of Indiana, and ADEC, a Bristol, Indiana-based organization dedicated to helping the neurodiverse find employment opportunities. Those efforts have produced excellent results, landing the RV manufacturer outstanding employees that may have otherwise been overlooked. Conversely, the program has been enormously beneficial for those employees as well, allowing them to not only have a job but sharpen their social skills, build their self-esteem, and create meaningful connections with coworkers.
Now, Keystone hopes to encourage other organizations to create similar initiatives, opening their doors to employees with diverse abilities and backgrounds. The video above offers further insights into how this program works and how it benefits both employer and employee. It also happens to be a touching story of acceptance and understanding.
Thanks to Keystone RV for continuing to lead the way.