CAI, a global technology services firm, and Marshall University’s West Virginia Autism Training Center (WV ATC), a statewide technical assistance and direct service agency providing specialised training and support to individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), has announced that the companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The MOU details an agreement for CAI’s end-to-end neurodiversity employment programme – CAI Neurodiverse Solutions – to provide work experience and employment opportunities to Marshall neurodivergent graduates and for WV ATC to strengthen neurodiversity training for CAI employees.
Each year, over 111,000 individuals with ASD turn 18 years old and prepare for the workforce, yet unemployment rates for neurodivergent adults reach as high as 30-40%. These individuals possess skills in data analysing, problem solving and pattern recognition. According to Autism Society, while universities are mandated to provide transition programmes to students with ASD, not all schools are equipped with adequate resources to help students adapt to the workforce.
A partnership between CAI Neurodiverse Solutions and WV ATC will allow both organisations to conduct empirical research informing business leaders how to best support employees with ASD; provide students more real-work experience prior to entering college; and develop graduates’ skillsets necessary for successful employment. By supporting neurodivergent individuals at various levels of their education and career, the alliance will establish a pipeline of career-ready candidates.
“We are passionate about helping the neurodiverse community find meaningful careers,” said Anthony Pacilio, Vice President of Neurodiverse Solutions at CAI. “Partnering with one of the longest standing autism service providers in higher education means that we will bring more brilliantly talented individuals into the workforce. We are excited about the impact we will make with the West Virginia Autism Training Center.”
“The WV ATC exists to support individuals diagnosed with autism as they pursue a life of quality,” said Dr. Marc Ellison, Executive Director at West Virginia Autism Training Center. “A successful transition into adulthood, and especially into employment, is key to achieving that outcome. Neurodivergent people are traditionally underemployed or unemployed but over the last decade, CAI Neurodiverse Solutions has been a leader in neurodiversity employment, partnering with them helps us more fully meet our centre’s mission.”Click below to share this article