PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A job placement program that started at Delmarva is now expanding and its empowering adults with autism.
Kaylin Morris is a contract worker for the Exelon company Delmarva Power through the job placement company The Precisionists. She’s one of 12 high-functioning autistic adults employed as part of a pilot partnership program.
“They are productive, they’re effective, they are making us a better company,” said Gary Stockbridge, Delmarva Power region president.
Which is why Exelon is expanding its program to its sister utilities: Atlantic City Electric in South Jersey and Pepco in Maryland and D.C.
The goal is to offer steady work to dozens of autistic adults.
They say what makes them great candidates is their strong attention to detail.
“Other people might call it OCD, or obsessive-compulsive disorder, but for people on the spectrum, it’s a joy to find that one or two things that might be off in like a thousand,” said Michael Stat.
Stat knows that joy very well. He was diagnosed with autism 10 years ago when he was 26.
“As a kid, it wasn’t even on people’s lips, like people didn’t even know what autism even was unless it was somebody who was totally nonverbal, so I mean just being here and being a part of this, it’s just extremely exciting,” he said.
A similar sentiment shared by Morris. She was one of the original four hired in June.
“It’s helped my life a whole lot. I was looking for a job for probably three years or so before I found this place,” said Morris.
Like most of her coworkers, Morris has Asperger’s syndrome.
“Some of the struggles that I had with the social barriers with Asperger’s being on the spectrum, a lot of things float on top of it like depression; anxiety disorders all sorts of stuff,” Morris said.
It’s actually not all work and no play, Kaylin actually has another special skill: she draws caricatures and in her spare time she drew all of her coworkers in this office.
“Pretty much since I was a toddler. I’ve been drawing faces,” she says. “It can really focus on our skillset and less on our social skills and more on what we can achieve.”