Scents with sentiment; ACLD launches new employment opportunity and job creation for adults with autism, learning and developmental disabilities

Scents with sentiment; ACLD launches new employment opportunity and job creation for adults with autism, learning and developmental disabilities
Members of ACLD and Candleworks Creating and Launching Their New Products (Courtesy of ACLD)

Non-profit Adults and Children with Learning and Developmental Disabilities Inc.  has announced the launch of its new employment opportunity and business called, Candleworks.

The new business was developed by ACLD for adults with autism, learning and developmental disabilities to gain meaningful employment and economic self-sufficiency.

Employees with differing abilities work together in every facet of the Candleworks business, including research and development of fragrances and scents, melting and mixing the blend of fragrances, hand-pouring each candle or wax melt, processing the orders and packaging and shipping the products to customers.

The new website is live and open to the public by visiting

This new initiative creates sustainable employment for adults who are eager to join the workforce but are faced with limited opportunities.

“With Candleworks, we have developed a sustainable business model for people with developmental disabilities to contribution to society and they feel an incredible amount of satisfaction that they’re crafting and manufacturing products that customers will love,” said Gerard DiMuro, vice president of Administration for ACLD. “There is a strong market for scented candles and we have a unique story of making a product with passion. We believe this will resonate with the public and instill pride that their purchase contributes to creating a meaningful job for someone.”

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2022, 21.3 percent of persons with a disability were employed, up from 19.1 percent in 2021.

“For people with special needs, employment offers greater economic self-sufficiency through the application of their skills and active participation in their communities. Candleworks continues ACLD’s mission of enriching the lives of adults with learning and developmental disabilities by connecting them with fulfilling jobs,” said Robert Ciatto, president/CEO of ACLD. “This new initiative will ignite a passion for work, giving our employees a sense of purpose and dignity as they create something of their own.”

All candles are handcrafted in small batches using 100 percent soy wax and are available in a variety of scented themes: Calm (Lavender, Sage, Cedar, and Cypress); Dream (Strawberry, Vanilla, and Freesia); Cozy (Bergamot, Amber, and Dark Musk) and Refresh (Red Currant, Lemon Peel, and Peppermint). There are also 3 limited-edition scents, Beautiful (Rose, Carnation and Powder); Joy (Citrus, Mint, and Orange Peel) and Beach Day (Coconut, Sandalwood, and Tonka Bean). All candles retail at $21 and have a burn time estimated at 40-plus hours.

As an alternative to scented candles, Candleworks also manufactures wax melts in the same scents as each candle, minus a wick. They give off the same aroma and fragrance as they are heated by a warmer. Candles, wax melts, and warmers can be purchased on Candleworks’ eCommerce website:

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