This is the second time that the AMIPI foundation has attended one your meetings thanks to Dr M.C. Potier who is one of our strongest partners within the scientific community. This relationship has been ongoing since 2008.
In fact, throughout our company's long 50-year history, our founder M. Maurice Vendre was already aware of what I have personally discovered these last few days : The need for a very close relationship between the various worlds of neuroscience, industry, economy and social responsibility in order to quite simply solve the problem of how to help patients with learning difficulties get a normal life and attain financial autonomy through a good job.
The AMIPI - Bernard VENDRE Foundation's area of expertise is to provide these exceptionally skilled people with the appropriate training, mainly through manual work stimulating dexterity, complex coordination, visual memory and other cognitive skills.
This is the reason why the foundation has already built 7 plants (each offering 100 jobs, 90% of which are for cognitively-challenged people) in Nantes, Cholet, Angers, Tours, Blois and Le Mans, all medium-sized cities where the cost of living allows people a reasonably good quality of life.
At the end of their apprenticeships, these people have overcome most of the difficulties linked to their disabilities and have become independent. We have adopted an experimental scientific approach. Marie Laure Blandin is one of our general managers and in charge of our apprenticeship scheme. She plans the apprenticeships with input from the chief of industrial operations. As such, at the same time as producing a high quality product at a competitive price we also help our employees to develop their cognitive skills. We refer to this as Dual Organization.
Subsequently these people can then leave the foundation and find jobs in classic companies.
Here are some key figures from the last 2 years:
It is amazing to think that 60 years ago, M. Maurice Vendre, whose son Bernard was diagnosed with Down syndrome, was already imagining that this important combination of neuroscience, classical industry and social responsibility would be attractive to the modern automotive sector. The combination of our technical apprenticeships and integration process has allowed 1,500 people to live normal lives and integrate socially.
I am here today to remind you that our major challenge is to ensure that these people's jobs are not threatened by computerization or robotics, nor by ignorance or corporate greed, which could destroy the hard work we have done in training and employing them and boosting their cognitive skills.
Thank you for your attention.
Chairman and Founder of the Foundation