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Quest Diagnostics starts jobs program for adults with autism

At Quest Diagnostics we aim to promote a healthier world, build value and create an inspiring workplace. One of the ways we do this is by partnering with organizations such as ADVICE, a program affiliated with Autism Speaks and NEXT for AUTISM, to help us hire individuals on the autism spectrum, and those with similar disabilities into positions in our labs through our DiverseAbilities Employee Business Network.

Quest launched our DiverseAbilities in 2017 and immediately recognized the opportunity to improve our outreach in the autism community to help us recruit from that community to fill specific roles in our business. These employees do specimen processing and other related jobs at our labs in Tucker, GA and Lenexa, KS. We hope to expand the program to our other labs in the United States in the coming year.

Quest employees, including those in DiversAbilities, are valued for their unique skills, background and experiences. Our ability to evolve, expand and develop world-class innovations relies on a culture that respects all employees and supports their contributions. 

ADVICE is a partnership between NEXT for AUTISM, Autism Speaks, key businesses and community organizations, and a team of National Business/Disability Consultants. ADVICE works with Quest to assist us with autism hiring initiatives that will build a diverse labor and customer pool of dedicated employees and brand loyal customers. Our collaboration with ADVICE is a natural fit – joining together the leading experts on disability inclusion with the leader in diagnostic information enables all of us to deliver the best possible service and products to our customers and our community.

Keedra Cotton is a supervisor in Quest Diagnostic’s Tucker, GA lab, where she supervises several of Quest’s employees through the DiversAbilities program including Maya, Denzel and Jordan. She frequently notes that her DiversAbilities employees are some of the best she’s ever supervised. individuals with disabilities have shown time and time again to be excellent workers having higher productivity, lower absenteeism and turnover and just being great workers, which is something every employer values.

“As a Supervisor it’s important to be able to rely on my employees, given the critical nature of the work we do, and I think anyone who is trustworthy and capable of such an important job should be given a chance to show they can work,” Keedra said.

Quest has been committed to a diverse workplace since its inception. To date, more than 50 percent of our employees are minorities and more than two-thirds are women. However, we want to move to from being diverse to being inclusive – meaning valuing the diversity that we have and ensuring that those diverse thoughts, experiences, backgrounds and innovative ideas are valued and sought out when making business decisions.  Collaborating with ADVICE on DiversAbilities will help us achieve this goal.

For more information about DiversAbilities, email DiverseAbilities@questdiagnostics.com.

The Autism Speaks blog features opinions from people throughout the autism community. Each blog represents the point of view of the author and does not necessarily reflect Autism Speaks' beliefs or point of view.