Luv Michael is a not for profit based in Long Island City, NY that makes and sells granola to retail outlets. What’s special about this not for profit though is that all the employees preparing granola at its facility are on the Autism spectrum.
Luv Michael was founded by Dr. Lisa Liberatore, whose 20 year old son Michael is on the Autism spectrum. Michael attends a special school for Autism, and as he was graduating with other students, Dr. Liberatore noticed that not enough was being done to really focus on the abilities of the individual graduating. In order to provide Michael and other individuals with autism employment, and to empower them by making them self sufficient, Dr. Liberatore started Luv Michael two years ago.
Sarah Kull, a teacher at Luv Michael, states that once these young people turn 21, their school programs come to an end, and when they do, it becomes their family’s responsibility to find employment for them. Otherwise they end up doing nothing and staying at home.
At Luv Michael, employees are not only trained to make granola, they are also prepared to get real life certifications that can be used to get employment at Luv Michael or elsewhere.
In the last two years, Luv Michael has sold granola to 60-70 retail outlets on the east coast. Dr. Liberatore wants to open a new facility that will be 3,000 square feet, and will be designed to address special sensory needs for individuals who work there. There will be a quiet room, and a laundry room, and she thinks that just that new facility will generate more jobs internally in addition to the kitchen jobs.
Check out the video to learn more about Luv Michael, its employees, and how they work. If you want to find out if Luv Michael would be appropriate for your child for employment, reach out to the not for profit through their website.