Neurodiversity and CTE

More than two million manufacturing positions may go unfilled by 2028. In order to close this gap, we must ensure that all students have the opportunity to learn about career pathways. One important session at ACTE’s CareerTech VISION 2023 — Neurodiversity and CTE: Meet Your Future Workforce — will feature a panel discussion on how to include autistic students in your career and technical education (CTE) programs.

The Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation (MEAF) has worked toward disability inclusion since 1991 with a mission to help young people with disabilities maximize their potential and participation in society with a focus on empowerment through increased employment. MEAF works toward this mission by investing its grant dollars in youth preparation and employer education. The foundation connects the talent of neurodivergent youth with opportunities that lead to successful careers in fields like manufacturing and technology.

Meet the Neurodiversity and CTE session panel.

  • Aspiritech is a Chicagoland nonproft that was founded in 2008. They work to empower neurodivergent individuals to fulfill their potential through meaningful employment combined with social opportunity. Aspiritech provides training and employment in quality assurance (QA) and software testing pathways.
  • Blue Star Recyclers is an award-winning social enterprise based in Colorado. Since 2009, they have created permanent and competitive jobs, directly and indirectly, for more than 100 adults with disabilities. And they’ve recycled more than 30 million pounds of electronics.
  • Teaching the Autism Community Trades (TACT) was founded in 2016 by parents who wanted to create more opportunities for their son and other children like him. The mission of TACT is to encourage and empower a full spectrum of individuals through education and employment in the skilled trades.
  • The Uniquely Abled Project (UAP) began its efforts in 2013 and has since launched the Uniquely Abled Academy. The UAP trains, places and supports employees and their employers in the manufacturing industry.

Meet the moderator.

Tara MP Havlicek serves as program manager for the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation. With over 15 years of experience in corporate philanthropy, her focus lies on national grantmaking and corporate employees volunteer programs. She also serves as an advisor with the National Disability Mentoring Coalition.

Read more in Techniques: VISION in the Spotlight.