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Frist Center End-to-End Employment Pipeline Model

FCAI Nashville Model

The Frist Center for Autism and Innovation was formed from its inception in 2017 with the intention of serving as the core academic research partner within a larger, community-based effort to develop a truly end-to-end employment pipeline model. In this model, we seek to develop, demonstrate, and disseminate components necessary for a community to come together to create a robust series of pathways and opportunities that lead to meaningful employment for autistic individuals and that enhance the bottom line for the businesses.

This “pipeline to employment” model helps the Frist Center identify roadblocks to meaningful employment faced by many individuals with autism and work with partners throughout the community to identify or develop programs and innovations that may help individuals succeed in overcoming these obstacles.

There are a lot of unknowns in science, particularly when it comes to neurodiversity, but what is clear is many in the neurodiversity community are looking for employment help. We examine each program and innovation to get a sense of its potential to have a positive impact. For those that show promise, we help facilitate pilot projects so we may try to help those who need it today, while examining the results with a scientific lens so we can determine what works and what doesn’t. Once a program or innovation has been vetted, we incorporate it into the pipeline model.

Simply put, the model is a collection of programs and innovations that help neurodiverse individuals understand their own talents, obtain appropriate training and upskilling (including soft skills) for workplace readiness through educational programs and novel assistive technologies, find meaningful employment, and land in workplaces that themselves have been trained in evidence-based management methods for true neuro-inclusion at work.