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Calgary company celebrates 5 years of connecting people with autism with high-tech jobs

Global News logo Global News 2018-11-22 Tomasia DaSilva
a desk with a computer: Calgary-based companies connect people with Autism with jobs© Global News Calgary-based companies connect people with Autism with jobs

A Calgary-based IT company is celebrating a special five-year milestone.

Meticulon Consulting gets tech contracts, then supplies its clients with workers, who happen to be people with autism.

"They're exceptionally good at what they do," Meticulon's Garth Johnson said. "Precise, diligent, accurate beyond anybody else."

Meticulon has hired 41 people with autism over the past five years.

READ MORE: Employees with autism: How they can be an asset to any company

Mackenzie Whitney is one of those hires and said getting a job in the past hasn't been easy.

"I just thought the job market was too difficult," Whitney said.

Whitney particularly had problems getting past the interview process.

"Basically just social flubs or being too forward."

Meticulon helps prospective employees get over that social hurdle. It trains the employee, invests in them, then when they are ready, they are offered up to clients as consultants.

Calgary-based Solium is one of Meticulon's clients.

Sean Bower helped bring Whitney and three other people with autism on at the company.

Bower said it started as a bit of a goodwill gesture, but has turned out to be a sound business decision.

"The diligence and attention to detail and the ability to kind of get through things and process things and process things quickly."

Bower said it may require companies to do business a bit differently, such as maybe lowering the volume level or dimming the lights to accommodate employees with certain needs, but in the end it's worth it.

He added Solium will be hiring in 2019 and it will be calling on Meticulon.

WATCH: Global tech giant Garmin officially calls Alberta home

Meticulon is pushing for more companies to get on-board by advocating the benefits of hiring people with autism. It claims retention is higher, employees are happier and companies get a better return on their investment.

The company said it just makes sense, especially at a time when Calgary and Canada are seeing a skilled tech worker shortage.

"Those people that they need are here. They're Calgarians and they're educated and they want to work," Johnson said.

"The sad statistic in Canada is that 80 per cent of employable, trained people with autism who want to have a job don't have a job."

Whitney said this is much more than a job for him; it's turned into a career.

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