During the past two months, AFMC management met with potential candidates to interview them for positions on base. The interviews were structured differently from typical government interviews.
The interviews were held in the Wright State office of disability services – an environment that the graduates were familiar with. The interviews were organized as an open dialogue between the candidate and the interviewer, instead of a structured question-and-answer format. These adaptations helped make the candidates feel comfortable in the situation.
“This group of individuals have a lot to overcome with social cues,” said Fore. “They might not be comfortable shaking someone’s hand or looking them directly in the eye the whole time like in a normal interview. So what we wanted to do was break down some of those barriers.”
The interview process was successful with 14 out of the 20 applicants already hired across Wright-Patterson AFB, including the Air Force Research Laboratory, National Air and Space Intelligence Center and Air Force Life Cycle Management Center.
Many of these graduates received degrees in engineering and finance, with one in mass communication.
The candidates possess unique skillsets that will benefit their workplaces, explained Fore. As they begin their work, they will have mentors come alongside them to assist with any challenges they might face.
The mentors, who are volunteers from Wright-Patterson AFB, and the supervisors who will be working with these candidates attended training sessions in June. These sessions helped educate them on how to communicate and what to expect from the new employees.
The candidates themselves attended a training session in July to ensure they are familiar with installation protocol.
According to Fore, the initiative has proven to be a success so far. AFMC hopes to expand the program to include other local universities or installations under AFMC in the future.
If interested in becoming a mentor or in learning more about the Autism at Work initiative, contact Fore at email@example.com.