Joseph Erbentraut reports in the Huffington Post today about four large businesses that are leading the field of autism employment. Leslie Long, Vice President of Adult Services at Autism Speaks, is quoted in the article discussing the challenges facing many individuals with autism who are seeking employment, as well as how progress can be made.
Part of the solution to high rates of unemployment among the autism community is the new web tool announced last week called TheSpectrumCareers.com. This job searching website was brought to life by valued Autism Speaks partners Rangam Consultants, Inc. (RCI) and WebTeam Corporation.
“More progress needs to be made because there’s a whole population of individuals that need competitive employment,” Long told The Huffington Post. “We need to have a continued, sustained discussion on this topic.”
The tech giant recently announced a pilot project aimed at hiring adults with autism for full-time positions. Microsoft's Corporate Vice President of Worldwide Operations Mary Ellen Smith helped get the project off the ground. She has a 19-year-old son on the autism speactrum. The pilot program kicks off in May with 10 candidates.
In 2007 Walgreens opened a distribution center in Anderson, South Carolina that hired a large number of adults with autism and other disabilities. That center made headline in 2008 when it went on to become the corporation's most productive centers. This success inspired Walgreens to expand the program.