Columbus is auticon’s newest office and we’re so excited to be here to offer careers for the autistic community and amazing talent for the many companies based here. A lot of people approach us and say, “hey, how did auticon, a German company, get to Ohio?”. This blog will explain auticon’s history and its path to bringing technology careers here to Columbus.
First let’s address the elephant in the room: auticon is all lowercase. Grammarians, it’s a style preference, it’s looks really cool in our logo! Now that that’s out of the way, our history:
auticon was founded in Berlin, Germany in 2011 by Dirk Müller-Remus, whose son was diagnosed with autism 4 years earlier at age 14. The idea was first sparked after a visit to an autism and employment group. During the group, 20 autistic adults between the ages of 25 and 50 presented on their professional careers. Despite good educational backgrounds, they were all unemployed. This was, he learned, in line with an appalling global statistic: that as many as 85% of autistic adults are unemployed. He knew he needed to do something to help change this statistic and decided to create a company that recognized the talents and accommodated the needs of those on the autism spectrum while showing companies the benefits of autism and neurodiversity in the workplace to break down the stigma worldwide.
auticon first expanded within Germany, then throughout Europe, finally landing in the US in 2018 (and since expanding to Canada and Australia). Our US foothold began with the acquisition of Santa Monica–based MindSpark. MindSpark was a company founded in a similar way to auticon – by a father of 2 sons on the autism spectrum who wanted a place he knew they could have a meaningful career. After the acquisition, auticon opened two more offices in the LA area, before moving on to Salt Lake City, Utah, and finally here to Columbus, Ohio. We currently have 21 offices globally. auticon’s unique model allows each regional office to operate independently as a local business. That means when you work for auticon Columbus you are working for an Ohio registered business, not for a German company.
Most Ohioans know Columbus is a great place to live, but it suprises people that we could hop from German-headquarters, to LA-based US headquarters, to Columbus.
In LA we’re in an area called “Silicon Beach”, Salt Lake City is known as “Silicon Slopes”, and while Columbus may not have a play on the word silicon to its name yet, it was definitely a no brainer when we were considering where to expand to next. Columbus has been ranked #1 by SmartAsset for tech workers and has also been shown to have tech growth at a higher rate than bigger cities like Boston and even San Francisco. Columbus is also a great job market with unemployment rates below the national average, but the global autistic under/unemployment stat of 85% remains true here. auticon wants to continue its mission of providing rewarding careers to people on the autism spectrum and to bring awareness into more companies and regions about the value of neurodiversity acceptance in the workplace. We are so excited to become the company that hires autistic people in Ohio for IT, QA, and all things tech!
Why technology jobs for autistic people?
While technology and autism may seem to go hand in hand, it is not true that every autistic person is instantly drawn to tech. So why did auticon choose tech to be its field? Two Reasons:
Teachable Vocation and Growing Field:
Technology is a teachable vocation that is endless in possibility for career growth. The technology field is accessible to a wide variety of people coming in with different backgrounds, specialties’, and skill levels. Anyone can begin in a tech career without any experience, learn the necessary skills, and grow a career. College degrees are not required, and the training can be hands on, on the job. Plus, as we all know, it’s a growing field that will only get bigger and create more jobs.
Tech Talent Gap:
In fact, it’s such a big field with so many jobs that there is already a tech-talent gap. That means that there are more technology roles to fill than there are people to fill them. At the same time, most autistic adults that are either unemployed entirely or are working in jobs far below their skill level. We can kill two birds with one stone: lower the autistic unemployment rate and close the tech talent gap but filling these open roles with autistic employees.
Is the whole company autistic?
auticon is proudly two-thirds autistic! Globally we have about 300 employees, 200 of which are on the autism spectrum. The majority of our autistic employees are in technical roles, however, if tech doesn’t speak to you, do not hesitate to reach out about any other role. We have autistic people working in all sorts of roles including management, marketing, and sales!
Is auticon hiring more autistic people?
Also, follow us on social media to get a taste of what auticon US is all about! one-thir