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Workforce Shortages – Closing the Gap

As an employer, you have no doubt experienced the effects of the shortage of employees in the workforce.

Most employers indicate that finding and retaining employees is one of their biggest business challenges. This is especially true of high-demand jobs such as those in technical and skilled manufacturing industries where the need for talent is high and expected to grow in coming years.

Summit Aerospace Experience

In a recent Deloitte survey of technical industry leaders nearly 90% of leaders said that recruiting and retaining talent were a moderate or major challenge (Deloitte Insights 2023).

Similarly, manufacturing industry leaders have indicated that their number 1 business problem is access to a skilled workforce and over 50% of newly created manufacturing jobs may go unfilled (MIT Technology Review 2018).

The Hidden Talent Pool

One in 36 individuals have been identified as being on the autism spectrum according to the CDC. This represents 2.75% of the US population or approximately 9.5 million people across the US.

Many of these individuals have unique skills and attributes that make them a better fit employee for certain roles such as those in technology, manufacturing, supply chain, and other growing industries.

Business Benefits to Employing Individuals on the Spectrum

In addition to accessing a significant talent pool of uniquely abled employees, autistic professionals have been found to be up to 140% more productive than the typical employee when properly matched to jobs (HBR December 2021).

Others have found a significant focus on safety procedures among these employees, resulting in overall safety improvements.

“Over half of newly created jobs are predicted to go unfilled.”

Companies employing people on the autism spectrum have also found:

  • 90% retention rates
  • 140% increase in productivity
  • 90% reduction in errors

(Source: Integrate 2023)

Some of the unique employment strengths of individuals with autism that create these positive business results include:

  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Accuracy
  • Loyalty
  • Extreme focus
  • Rules and procedure-oriented
  • Excellent rote memory
  • Ability to wholly absorb facts
  • Propensity for innovation
  • Honesty

Employer Concerns About Hiring Autistic Individuals

Employers often do not actively pursue neurodiverse candidates as part of their hiring initiatives. The reasons for this vary. Some business leaders are simply not aware of the size and abilities of this talent pool. Others may believe it may be difficult to recruit, select, and manage this candidate pool.

Some employers also have concerns about the potential cost of providing accommodations. A survey of over 3500 employers reported that 49% percent of accommodations for workers with disabilities have no associated costs. When accommodations are needed, the majority cost less than $300 (Job Accommodation Network, 2023).

How to Get Started

HAAPE offers programs through our collaborative partners to help you get started These include: certification training programs that generate skilled candidates for jobs in manufacturing, technology, aviation, and supply chain industries.

For more information, please contact us:

Connie Alden, HAAPE President
Larry Rothman, HAAPE Board Chair

Employer Resource Links

How HAAPE Helps

  • Candidate Pool: we work with a wide variety of collaborative partners including High Schools, Colleges, Vocational Schools, and Nonprofit organizations that work with individuals on the autism spectrum and provide employment transition support. This may include employment
    readiness support such as soft skills training, job coaches, and job clubs.
  • Candidate Education and Skills Training: HAAPE’s programs are provided by established colleges and training institutions. Here is information on our candidate certification programs.
    Learn More about HAAPE Programs.
  • Workforce Integration: training is available to help integrate candidates into your workforce.
    This includes peer and manager training to ensure individuals are successfully integrated into
    your workforce.
  • Employer Advisory Boards: we encourage participation by a member of your leadership team in one of HAAPE’s Employer Advisory Boards. It is a great way to share ongoing communication about successes or potential challenges of integrating individuals into your workforce as well as hearing from other employers about how they did it.

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