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Want to fix that worker shortage? Pa.Autistic Neurodiversity Residents Are Ready | Opinions

Johanna Murphy

For the past few months, I think I’ve seen the editorial and meditated on the current national employment crisis. Jobs all over the country are no longer filled. This is a well-known phenomenon in Pennsylvania. Over the years, as the population has moved, the debate over labor development in the region has lamented the shortage of skilled workers.

Despite the fact that Pennsylvania is the fifth most populous state in our country, our population growth is lower than that of other countries. In 2021, we lost another parliamentary seat and voter vote. It is reasonable to think that the slowdown in our population growth is also affecting the expansion or lack of expansion of our economy.

Pennsylvania is the third-highest elderly resident in the United States, with nearly 2 million people aged 65 and over.

The truth is that both types of brains are valuable in the workplace and it is in the greatest interest of our economy to make conscious decisions to welcome both in the workplace.

Population growth is slow, but the aging rate is quite high. This can be seen in the rapid retirement rate of baby boomers. This is a big problem given that the population is not changing at the same pace as the growing need for the workforce. Pandemics are not the only influences on a company’s employment capacity. It is a structural change in the population.

It will take some time to draw attention to the amazing pool of untapped talent of autistic and neurodiversity youth.

Did you know that 20% of the US population is neurodiversity? This includes autism, ADHD, dyslexia, dyscalculia, and sensory processing disorders.

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20% means that in Pennsylvania, with a population of 12.96 million, approximately 2.59 million have neurodiversity. And 62.7% of our total population is the major working age from 16 to 64 years. There is no reason to think that the neurodiversity population will grow differently than ever before. This means that it can be reasonably estimated that 1,625,184 of these neurodiversity people have the highest working age.

You can see the powerful impact this number has on our region.

Again, our population is dispersed across different age groups. According to the calculations on the back of my envelope, the population of young adults in Pennsylvania is 25.8%, and the population of neurodiversity is expected to be distributed as well. So, in my numbers, there are currently about 406,296 young adults with neurodiversity in Pennsylvania.

A national survey shows that about 44% of young adults with neurodiversity are somehow engaged in higher education and 34% have a bachelor’s degree. Still, according to national figures, the unemployment rate for young adults with neurodiversity is 30-40%, but the unemployment rate for autistic youth is even higher, with the unemployment rate for those with a college degree reaching 85%. Will also be. It’s a lot of talent sitting on the bench!

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What’s wrong? How do you bridge the gap between unfulfilled talent and an ambitious and capable pool of work? By changing our way of thinking.

Many of the historically thought of autism and neurodiversity “communication disorders” are not defects, but wiring differences, and we are beginning to understand that they represent different naturally occurring styles of the brain. increase.

People with autism and those with neurodiversity rarely misunderstand each other wonderfully. Only mixed companies put things at risk.

Harvard Business Review published an article in December 2021. Autism does not keep people at work. There is no discrimination.

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The main point of this article is that it is a social and personality barrier that keeps neurodiversity talents away from the workplace, from the lunch room to the application process. “The personality-focused job-seeking process is a barrier for many who are better at doing their jobs than talking about themselves. This is an example of the” norms “of many workplaces that do not include neurodiversity. Not too much. “

We all know that cultural adaptation to work is important. We also know that a thriving business does not require perfect uniformity. In fact, diverse perspectives are the assets of decision making and development. It’s time to put the ideal of cognitive diversity into practice, and it’s far more mediocre than theory. How do you do that?

You investigate your employment practices! Do they create space for neurodiversity applicants to shine, or do they insist on a solid handshake, eye contact, and an old formula of strong self-promotion? Go beyond simple training to explore mentoring practices.

Can new employees be assigned more senior staff as “goers” when learning rope in the first year? Investigate the culture of the workplace. Please really check it out. How are personality conflicts handled by management? Is there a culture of criticism? Like?

Competition for credit for ideas? In retrospect, was “competition” really used as an excuse for a culture that allowed bullying in the workplace?

I work for a non-profit organization for autism services. I’m an adult with autism, but I’ve found that HBR’s work contains water. We are all social creatures and it is essential to get along in the workplace.

But different brains have different communications and different priorities, and simple changes that accept that both types of brains are valuable will make a difference in the productivity of everyone.

For example, autism in particular is very task-oriented. Psychologists call it “unidirectional”. We like work and hate being interrupted.

We want to go back to our desk, so we tend to skip the water cooler conversation. We value efficiency and tend to be very direct in conversation.

Nervous colleagues often interpret these traits as evidence that they do not like them, even if they do not at all. We are neurologically focused on “working”, but neurotypical is also focused on being “member of the group”.

The truth is that both types of brains are valuable in the workplace and it is in the greatest interest of our economy to make conscious decisions to welcome both in the workplace.

Johanna Murphy Evolve coaching.. She writes from Pittsburgh.

Want to fix that worker shortage? Pa.Autistic Neurodiversity Residents Are Ready | Opinions

Source link Want to fix that worker shortage? Pa.Autistic Neurodiversity Residents Are Ready | Opinions

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