ArcBest Works to Bring Neurodiversity to the Workplace

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ArcBest is partnering with Integrate Autism Employment Advisors (IAEA) to foster a neuro-inclusive workforce in supply chain logistics.

IAEA is a non-profit organization that focuses on company collaboration to identify, recruit, and retain workers on the autism spectrum.

Integrate claims that 35% of individuals on the autism spectrum attend college, but the unemployment rate is between 75-85% for these individuals.

“Our people are at the heart of our success, and we care about attracting, hiring and retaining the right people for the right jobs — including those who are on the autism spectrum,” said Erin Gattis, ArcBest’s chief human resources officer. Gattis believes learning about workplace neurodiversity will create a more inclusive environment where all individuals succeed. 

Integrate intends to focus first on job descriptions, stating that many people on the autism spectrum don’t apply to most jobs. 

“When it comes to the workplace, job descriptions are often the first barrier to entry,” said Tracy Powell-Rudy, vice president of corporate engagement at Integrate. “For example, entry-level descriptions that call for excellent oral and communication skills or leadership potential often put off potential applicants who may struggle with interpersonal skills. Many on the spectrum often take things literally so that if they don’t have one skill out of 10 listed in a job post, they won’t apply, thinking themselves unqualified.”

ArcBest joins other major corporations like JP Morgan Chase & Co., SAP, Ernst & Young, and Microsoft in improving their hiring inclusivity and hopes that other companies will do the same.

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