A pilot program is in the works to train individuals on the autism spectrum in cyber skills in demand by federal agencies as a follow-up to one of the winning submissions in the GEAR Center Challenge under the President’s Management Agenda.
The proposed Federal Neurodiversity Cyber Workforce program “can add talented cyber engineers to the federal workforce while increasing job opportunities for individuals on the autism spectrum,” many of whom have aptitudes well suited to cyber work such as attention to detail, problem solving, analytical skills and out of the box thinking, says a posting on performance.gov.
It says that the proposing organization, MITRE, is working to identify federal agencies interested in partnering on demonstration pilots and that once they are identified, industry and academic partners “will put together a hiring and training plan that takes the agency’s cybersecurity needs and hiring regulations into account.”
The academic partners will help identify candidates who will be provided with pre-hire training including interviewing skills and resume guidance, while managers and co-workers of those hired will receive training on autism and “ways to support their new coworkers,” it says.
It says the model could later be expanded to “meaningfully impact both national security and significant unemployment in the autism community.”