NeuroTalent Works recruits and prepares disabled and neuro-distinct individuals (those with cognitive distinctions such as autism) for entry-level jobs in the insurance industry.
Changing the narrative
One in 36 children in the U.S. are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Typically, children with autism and other cognitive disabilities receive educational services and support as they proceed through school; however, upon graduating and becoming an adult, they receive fewer services and opportunities, leading to an 80% unemployment rate. And those who do secure jobs are often underemployed and don’t get the chance to fully use their skills, education and talents. NeuroTalent Works believes this is a missed opportunity for both neurodistinct job candidates and employers — and it comes at a significant cost to society.
To address this, the nonprofit connects adults on the autism spectrum with professional corporate careers where they can thrive. They do this by addressing both sides of the equation and serving as a connector.
Working directly with businesses, NeuroTalent Works provides training and consulting services to increase awareness of the value of a neurodiverse workplace, to build inclusive practices and to help them hire neurodiverse talent. To prepare neurodistinct job candidates, NeuroTalent Works provides training and workplace readiness services and related support. This dual approach is helping to change the narrative of what it means to be inclusive for neurodiversity. They want autistic and neurodistinct individuals to be recognized for their valuable contributions to the workforce and society.
A diversity of minds
“We are committed to adding diversity to our workplace, and NeuroTalent Works showed us a way forward,” said Dana Dattola, the Agency Principal at Weaver & Associates. “It’s been rewarding to include our staff in an exciting opportunity to help others who could contribute but were often overlooked in our industry.”
“We are committed to adding diversity to our workplace, and NeuroTalent Works showed us a way forward.”
– Dana Dattola, Agency Principal, Weaver & Associates
In 2019, the nonprofit began training the staff of Weaver & Associates to build an inclusive, neurodiverse workplace. As a result, they became the first independent insurance agency partner to hire NeuroTalent Works’ candidates when they brought on two individuals as commercial lines assistants.
A sound business strategy
Weaver & Associates has been instrumental in helping NeuroTalent Works expand its reach and focus on employment opportunities in the insurance sector, particularly for entry-level processing roles that often have high turnover rates. This successful partnership prompted the nonprofit to launch its Neuro(diversity) in Insurance Job Training and Hiring Program in 2023. Formed in partnership with the California Department of Rehabilitation, the program offers onboarding grants, neurodiversity inclusion training and other incentives to insurance companies to hire individuals with disabilities and neurodistinctions for entry-level transaction processing and related roles.
The agency helped the nonprofit design and launch this unique initiative by giving four staff members paid time off to volunteer to help shape the program. This support also included making introductions and building business connections with more than 100 other insurance agencies in California to promote the initiative and encourage more employers to hire from this inclusive program.
“As the first insurance agency to hire our candidates, Weaver & Associates has modeled the way for neurodiversity inclusion,” said Jessica Lee, executive director and co-founder of NeuroTalent Works. “They share our vision and understand that this isn’t charity. It’s a sound business strategy.”
“Weaver & Associates shares our vision and understands that this isn’t charity. It’s a sound business strategy.”
– Jessica Lee, Executive Director and Co-Founder, NeuroTalent Works
Highlighting overlooked talent
Help Weaver & Associates win $10,000 for NeuroTalent Works by clicking the vote button. Get them an extra vote by leaving a comment below by July 31, 2023. The nonprofit would use this donation to support its Talent Readiness Program, which prepares neurodiverse job candidates for employment through self-advocacy training, mock interviews and peer networking groups.
The nonprofit is actively seeking more partnerships with insurance agencies. If you own or work for an agency and want to make a positive difference, please explore NeuroTalent Works’ Neuro(diversity) in Insurance Job Training and Hiring Program or contact them via email.