auticon, an IT and compliance consulting business that exclusively employs adults on the autism spectrum as IT consultants, has announced plans to expand to the Columbus Region, creating 50 new jobs. Hiring for IT positions will begin immediately.
auticon plans to open a new regional headquarters in the Columbus Region that will be responsible for providing IT development. The company will partner with Ohio-based employers to deploy its services, which include business analytics, artificial intelligence, software development and migration, as well as quality assurance and testing.
“Working together, the state of Ohio, JobsOhio, and One Columbus are attracting investments that value Ohio’s diverse and inclusive workforce,” said Governor Mike DeWine. “auticon will provide opportunities for Ohioans on the autism spectrum to build their skill sets and careers in the tech industry.”
“We look forward to expanding into the Columbus Region and working with the many talented individuals and tech companies located in Central Ohio,” said auticon CEO Kurt Schöffer. “We have found Columbus-based companies to be very collaborative in solving IT business needs with an innovative workforce solution.”
Autistic adults often have extraordinary cognitive abilities, such as logic, pattern recognition, precision, sustained concentration and an ability to intuitively spot errors, yet many find it difficult to secure or maintain mainstream employment. Market studies show that only 15 to 20% of autistic people work within the mainstream labor market, despite often having higher education degrees in STEM and the talents for a career in information technology. auticon taps into this potential by supporting autistic adults with job coaches and project managers and produces a win-win-win situation for clients, autistic consultants, as well as society.
“Everyone should have an equal opportunity to enter into a career and employers should find ways to help those who require a little extra support to do so. auticon is doing just that, helping autistic people by matching their unique skill sets with companies across the UK,” said auticon Investor and Founder of the Virgin Group Sir Richard Branson. “As an investor in auticon, I’m delighted with their progress and their approach serves as a great example of scalable social enterprise.”
Founded in Berlin in 2011, auticon is a unique social enterprise that employs more than 220 IT consultants on the autism spectrum, making it the first enterprise to scale this model worldwide. The company currently has 15 offices across the globe, including in Europe, Canada and the United States.
“As we work toward becoming the most prosperous region in the United States, we’re excited to collaborate with auticon on diversifying our thriving local workforce,” said One Columbus President and CEO Kenny McDonald. “Employing talented individuals on the autism spectrum will help accomplish One Columbus’ vision by targeting an underserved and often underemployed segment of our community.”
The Columbus Region is home to a vibrant IT ecosystem that benefits Fortune 500 corporations and tech startups alike. As employers around the world report challenges in finding IT talent, KLG Advisors determined the Columbus Region to be the top U.S. metro for IT staffing potential. The ranking is based on concentration of IT talent, growth of IT labor force, and university and college output.