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Employing adults with autism, Rising Tide Car Wash opens second South Florida location

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An employee details a car at Rising Tide Car Wash in Parkland in 2013. Miami Herald File Photo

By Nancy Dahlberg / ndahlberg@miamiherald.com

Rising Tide Car Wash, a unique social venture with a mission to employ adults with autism, opened its second South Florida location on Thursday.

Rising Tide has operated in Parkland since 2013. The new Margate location, located at 2970 N. State Road 7, is estimated to create about 50 new jobs in the community.

“By opening the Margate location, we are not only giving more young adults with autism opportunities to realize their capabilities, gain confidence, make friends, gain financial independence, and have a place to call their own, but we are also providing South Floridians with another top-notch car wash experience,” said John D’Eri, CEO of Rising Tide.

When John and his son Tom D’Eri learned that 80 percent to 90 percent of adults with autism are unemployed, they set out to change that statistic. The D’Eris researched options and determined a car wash would be the ideal business for creating jobs for people with autism, like Tom’s brother Andrew, who likes structure and performing repetitive tasks and follows safety guidelines to the letter.

Rising Tide’s innovative, scalable model breaks the car-washing process into 46 distinct steps. Employees work in a mirror image of each other, and are able to thrive off the repetitive structure to produce extraordinary results, John D’Eri said.

Rising Tide is also one of the largest employers of people with autism in the U.S. Since its inception, Rising Tide has created 85 jobs in the South Florida area.

Follow @ndahlberg on Twitter.

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