Previously, we featured NeuroTalent Works’ new insurance-specific Earn and Learn program on the blog. The (Neuro)diversity in Insurance: Job Training and Hiring Program, developed through the California Department of Rehabilitation’s (DOR) Demand Side Employment Initiative (DSEI), connects neurodivergent individuals with employers in the insurance industry, benefiting both groups. You can find that post here.
Now, we are excited to share that the first cohort of 14 neurodivergent job candidates have completed the Earn and Learn program.
“We are so proud of the graduates, and we’re confident in their prospects for jobs in the insurance industry,” said Jessica Lee, Executive Director and Co-founder of NeuroTalent Works. “We are so grateful to the Department of Rehabilitation for enabling us to bring this program to life for our students and business partners.”
The program includes insurance job and industry training and certification, connections to potential jobs and employers, professional mindset and skills trainings, and a supportive cohort of peers.
In the final week of the program, the candidates participated in mock interviews with business professionals from the insurance industry, helping get them ready to enter the workforce while introducing business partners to the neurodiverse community first-hand. Those mock interviews also strengthened the businesses’ commitment to partnering with NeuroTalent Works to advance employment opportunities for neurodiverse and disabled individuals in the community. “We are thrilled at the prospects that are arising and are actively looking for more insurance and related businesses to partner with us in this meaningful way,” Lee said.
“We started this program with the big question, ‘What if we could advance neurodiversity employment and inclusion across an entire industry?’ This is one of the BIG first steps and milestones to answering that question — by preparing a workforce and equipping candidates with knowledge in the principles of insurance. Now we need business partners to provide opportunities for our job candidates to be interviewed for open roles in order for the program to be truly successful.”
Job candidates raved about the program. Here is what some had to say about the experience:
"It helped me discover myself and what I'm capable of. Additionally, I felt like I had a place that understood me, as I met a lot of other neurodivergent people like me. I loved learning about insurance, and the teachers were great."
"I learned the importance of organizational skills and willingness to learn. I feel like I gained an inner tranquility from the acceptance that the leadership showed."
Business partners also appreciated the program and offered this feedback:
"Great program! I received a better understanding of autistic people – the challenges they face but also the opportunities they have in our industry."
"Positive experience. I learned that you don't judge a book by its cover. There is a pool of underutilized talent out there."
"The Earn and Learn program exceeded my expectations! It helped me learn to be open to new people and how to be more inclusive in our hiring and our workplace."
To learn more about NeuroTalent Works and how the organization partners with businesses, visit https://www.neurotalentworks.org/what-we-do/corporate-readiness/. To learn more about the (Neuro)diversity in Insurance Program as an employer or job candidate, visit https://www.neurotalentworks.org/insurance/.