A new Calgary company is working with people with autism to help them find jobs that showcase their abilities.
Meticulon CEO Garth Johnson says people with autism often excel at jobs that are repetitive and detail-oriented.
Meticulon is looking for employers who need workers in software testing or data management, he said.
“They're going to get people that are extremely diligent, extremely accurate, and precise, capable of high degrees of focus. Very low turnover — our people do not like change and so they will be very, very loyal. Very, very focused,” he said.
“This is not a discounted business opportunity because you're hiring a person with a disability. You're actually hiring our people because of their gifts and abilities. And so actually in the end we expect that we'll be able to charge more because our people will be faster and more accurate and more demand,” he added.
Autism is a neurological variation that affects how people perceive and interpret the world around them. It can be characterized by difficulties with inter-personal communication and social norms but also an ability to focus strongly on a particular task or problem.
Roughly 85 per cent of people with autism don't have jobs and the 15 per cent who do are often under-employed, Johnson said.
John McLaughlin, head of Next Digital — a firm that manages IT for small businesses, said he hopes to find workers through Meticulon.
“They have the kind of people that are, I guess, really great at focusing and really good at doing some things that I think my guys right now aren't good at."
Meticulon client Dakota Kiriachuk said a job at a fast food restaurant didn’t work out because she wasn't great at customer service.
But Meticulon is trying to place her in a job that will be a better fit.
“Hopefully in an oil and gas company, what Garth was talking about, with the data analysis — it sounds really fun to me,” she said.
Meticulon hopes to have its first hires at work by next month.