INITIATIVE PLANS 5,000 TECHNOLOGY JOBS FOR PEOPLE WITH AUTISM BY 2020

Companies unite to train, employ people with specialized abilities for technology positions

DALLAS – March 28, 2016 – Global companies today announced The 5,000 Initiative: Autism in Tech Workforce, a unified plan to train and employ 5,000 people on the autism spectrum in technology positions by 2020. The 5000 Initiative is a result of a summit in Dallas in early March led by AT&T, Meticulon, MindSpark Technologies, LaunchAbility and Optimity Advisors.

Other participants in The 5,000 Initiative: Autism in Tech Workforce Summit represented Aspiritech, AutonomyWorks, Canadian Software Testing Board, Focus Professional Services, High Order Solutions, Infoxchange, Level IT Up Inc. and ULTRA Testing.

“As the race for competitive IT talent continues, organizations of all sizes must continually innovate and explore ways to remain competitive for job seekers – while strengthening their inclusive cultures for employees of all abilities,” says Chad Hahn, partner of Optimity Advisors and co-founder of MindSpark. “In addition, an estimated 500,000 young adults with autism will enter the workforce over the next decade.”

The 5000 Initiative is leading the charge to build the bridge to these roles through training. The 5000 Initiative will create and build best practices around training for these positions and to appropriately support those with autism to build strong careers and successfully serve the global workforce.

“Many individuals with autism have strengths that correlate to success in technology – often in quality assurance, data services and software and website testing,” says Meticulon CEO Garth Johnson.

“There’s a critical workforce need for these positions at many companies, but a gap exists between the training and access into these roles that those with autism haven’t been able to cross,” says LaunchAbility CEO Kathryn Parsons. “By training and employing individuals with specialized abilities, companies will maximize the professional and social opportunities in an environment that allows these individuals to thrive.”

To learn more, check Autism: The 5000 Initiative, follow @5000AutismJobs or call (972) 991-6777.

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ABOUT METICULON
Meticulon is a unique company, employing extraordinarily talented people who produce vastly superior software testing and quality assurance services. All consultants are on the autistic spectrum and each one has uniquely powerful abilities that make them more precise, diligent and exceptional. http://meticulon.com

ABOUT LAUNCHABILITY
LaunchAbility provides career services, including assessment, mentoring and placement, for adults and veterans with disabilities. To learn more about LaunchAbility, a North Texas nonprofit founded in 1962, check www.LaunchAbility.org, call (972) 991-6777 or follow @LaunchAbilityTX

ABOUT MINDSPARK TECHNOLOGIES
MindSpark’s mission is to use market mechanisms to create jobs for people with specialized abilities, increasing their independence and enabling them to participate in the free enterprise system. MindSpark Inc., a benefit corporation, provides software testing careers for people with specialized abilities, particularly those on the autism spectrum. www.mindsparktech.com

ABOUT OPTIMITY ADVISORS
Optimity Advisors, a sister company to MindSpark, is a specialized management advisory firm that combines deep industry expertise and integrated solutions to help companies enhance stakeholder value, improve operations, and address performance and risk related challenges. Visit us at www.OptimityAdvisors.com

MEDIA INQUIRIES
Randy E. Pruett
Pierpont Communications
(214) 217-7300 or Mobile (214) 505-1685
rpruett@piercom.com