Microsoft announces pilot job program for autistic individuals

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Microsoft, on Monday, announced a pilot job program which will see the Windows 10 maker hiring people with autism for full-time positions at its headquarters in Redmond, Washington.

In collaboration with employment agency Specialisterne, which trains and find jobs for autistic workers, the program will begin in May with 10 full-time positions in the company’s Redmond corporate headquarters.

The announcement was made in a blog post by Microsoft’s corporate vice president of worldwide operations, Mary Ellen Smith.

“Microsoft is stronger when we expand opportunity and we have a diverse workforce that represents our customers,” the blog post read.

“People with autism bring strengths that we need at Microsoft, each individual is different, some have amazing ability to retain information, think at a level of detail and depth or excel in math or code.”

“It’s a talent pool that we want to continue to bring to Microsoft!”

Smith noted that Microsoft already works with its vendor partners to employ people with disabilities in supported employment situations including event services, transportation and food services. She said that though the new pilot program is focused on autism, Microsoft is “passionate about hiring individuals of all disabilities.”

Smith has a personal connect with the program as her 19-year-old son Shawn was diagnosed with autism when he was four years old.

“At Microsoft, we encourage all employees to realize their full potential. This belief and the inspiration I get from my son is what drives me personally and why I was honored to speak,” Smith said.

She also said that she is proud to work at Microsoft, “a company that believes strongly in diversity.”

Interested applicants can email their resumes to Microsoft at msautism@microsoft.com