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A "Cyber" Sign of Things to Come

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Blog topics:  Archive

Autism AwarenessBy Chetrice Mosley-Romero

Less than two years ago, a New York Times report included a forecast that predicted, by 2021, there would be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity positions globally; a statistic that seems especially profound when you consider that the figure was at just one million positions in 2014.

In the midst of this incredible demand, it seems fitting that as we celebrate Autism Awareness Month (also referred to/celebrated as Autism Acceptance Month and World Autism Month) that a California-based company announced earlier this month its participation in a program that will help grow its workforce in central Indiana by providing jobs to people with autism and other disabilities.

Ingram Micro Commerce & Lifestyle Services says the e-Stewards ADVANCE+ program will fill these positions at the company's IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) Processing Center in Plainfield. The facility is dedicated to providing services for companies needing to securely dispose of their IT equipment; a task that is particularly important, given the fact that the process requires employees to ensure that all of the data (including all files, personal identifying information, and other proprietary materials) is completely securely removed from the devices.

In a recent interview, Ryan Roudebush at Ingram Micro said, "where it's been piloted before, the employees with autism have proven to be very adept working in these types of positions." He added, "In fact, one study showed they are 98 percent productive when they're on the clock and the average employee is closer to about 60 percent."

Initiatives, such as this, are encouraging, too, as it comes at a time when the cybersecurity industry is continuing in its efforts to become even more diverse and inclusive in its hiring practices. For its part, Ingram Micro is piloting the program out of its Plainfield location, but says if it all goes well, it will look to expand it to the company's other two Indianapolis facilities and, possibly, to other locations across the U.S.

For more information about related cyber career opportunities in Indiana, you can visit the Indiana Cybersecurity Hub and learn more about becoming a cyber professional. By doing so, we can educate, grow, and help to retain an even greater cybersecurity workforce across Indiana.