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CAI and Specialisterne Announce National Partnership to Employ Individuals with Autism into Technology Jobs

Date Posted: Wednesday, May 29th, 2013
Categories:  Delaware Health and Social Services News Office of Governor Markell

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Newark, DE -  Computer Aid, Inc. (CAI), a global Information Technology consulting, outsourcing and systems integration company today announced a National Founding Partnership with Specialisterne to train and hire people who have autism, in technology roles. With over 800 associates in the Delaware Valley, and 3,300 in the U.S., CAI plans to employ over 3% of its consultant workforce with people who have autism in technology roles in software testing, data quality assurance, programming, data mining and data entry, before the end of 2015.

CAI sees an innovative opportunity to leverage the unique talents of people with autism, while providing them a road map to develop meaningful IT careers. In the USA, it is estimated that one in every 88 people are impacted by autism. Specialisterne is a world leader in mobilizing the talents of people with autism to work in technology-focused jobs. Originally founded in Denmark, Specialisterne has operations around the world, including its new U.S. headquarters, which is based in Delaware.

“I credit [Delaware] Governor Jack Markell and [Delaware Health and Social Services Cabinet Secretary] Rita Landgraf for bringing CAI and Specialisterne together to begin this journey,” said CAI Managing Director Ernie Dianastasis. “As one of the largest IT firms in the Delaware Valley, we have a passion toward giving back to the community, particularly in the disabilities space. The opportunity to leverage our IT size and best practices in areas such as software testing, programming and data entry by employing individuals with autism was a no-brainer for us. This partnership will enable us to employ a significant number of folks with autism, as well as provide our customers like the State of Delaware to also participate.”

“We are thrilled by this opportunity to work with CAI as our Founding Partner on this national partnership,” said Specialisterne Founder and Board Chairman Thorkil Sonne. “ This partnership will not only create a significant number of new jobs in the Delaware Valley, but also throughout the United States, given CAI’s broad reach and capabilities. CAI and Specialisterne have very similar cultures and this is a great fit for us as we launch our U.S. operations.”

CAI and Specialisterne have started several projects to employ individuals with autism, including one with the State of Delaware Department of Health and Social Services.

“People are defined by their ability, not by their disability. Creating jobs means creating jobs for people of all abilities,” said Governor Markell. “By employing individuals with autism, CAI is utilizing unique talents to strengthen its own bottom line. Now, more than ever, our state and our nation’s competitiveness rely on using our full potential – everyone’s full potential. Many individuals with autism have the time, talent and desire to make meaningful contributions to interested employers.”

“At DHSS, we are proud to work with CAI and Specialisterne on a project that will employ people with autism,” Secretary Landgraf said. “To us, this ongoing partnership is about the power of opportunities. It will mean employment opportunities for individuals with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders. CAI will experience the opportunity to benefit from the special skills of individuals with autism spectrum disorders. And the people of Delaware will benefit from greater inclusion in our society. We celebrate CAI and Specialisterne for making this opportunity a reality for individuals who are full of ability.”

“I told Governor Markell and Secretary Landgraf that this is the strongest domestic job creation model out there. Imagine employing U.S. citizens who might otherwise be unemployed, to do something they love and are really good at,” said Dianastasis.

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About CAI: CAI is a multi-million dollar global IT consulting and services firm that employs 3,300 associates, over 800 of which report into the Wilmington, Delaware office serving the Delaware Valley. CAI offers a broad spectrum of methodology-based IT services offerings, which focus on processes and metrics. These methodologies enable CAI to meet each customer’s individual needs and deliver projects with the highest degree of productivity. CAI has operations in Europe, Asia, Africa and North America. In addition CAI is heavily committed to community service in all the markets it serves.

About Specialisterne: Specialisterne translates from Danish as “ The Specialists “, and was originally founded by Thorkil Sonne in 2004. Specialisterne is a socially innovative business that uses the characteristics of people with autism as a competitive advantage, and as a means to help people with autism secure employment. The majority of employees at Specialisterne have a diagnosis on the autism scale and perform tasks such as software testing, programming and data entry for the corporate sector. Specialisterne is a global company with operations in Europe.

Video from the event can be seen here.

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