The Corporate Source Unlocks Access to IT Employment for People With Disabilities

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The Corporate Source Unlocks Access to IT Employment for People With Disabilities

Garden City-based The Corporate Source (TCS), an organization that offers training for employment for people with disabilities, recently held its second graduation ceremony for a class of seven.

The graduates participated in a training program that qualifies them to work in information technology (IT) positions, which many say is a breakthrough development for people with disabilities. The program is starting to gain traction among corporations and workplaces — especially with the trend of more people working from home and not traveling into offices.

employment for people with disabilities
Michael Antignano from Port Jefferson Station

“People with developmental disabilities and autism have a strong aptitude to handle IT work,” says TCS CEO Michael Kramer. “They thrive earning their IT A+ Certifications, especially when they can be ‘at home’ in front of a computer.”

TCS, a non-profit established 26 years ago, is an employer of about 400 people with disabilities in the greater New York Metro area, as well as in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. It was recognized for its leading efforts in promoting IT employment for people with disabilities at the Long Island SummIT Awards in November 2022.

Despite all of the awareness and public policy gains for this population, about 80% of people with developmental disabilities and autism are unemployed, and the remaining 20% are underemployed. Most jobs for people with disabilities are unskilled blue collar, service sector positions.

TCS has partnered with the Computing Technology Industry Association, known as CompTIA, a national organization that provides opportunities for people to earn IT certifications. CompTIA is a leading voice and advocate for the $5 trillion global information technology ecosystem. There are some 75 million industry and tech professionals who design, implement, manage, and safeguard the technology that powers the world’s economy. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the job growth in this sector through 2028 will probably exceed 12%.

Some major companies, such as Ernst & Young and Microsoft, have begun using people with disabilities for IT projects. This can be sometimes monotonous, but the skills of people with disabilities are often conducive to these work environments.

“The TCS students attended ‘class’ everyday for 12 weeks, for 4-5 hours per day,” Kramer says. “Their level of engagement and attendance has been very strong.”  

The recent graduates are scattered throughout Long Island. For example, there is Michael Antignano from Port Jefferson Station. Upon completing the program, he obtained the CompTIA Fundamentals and A+ certifications and is currently seeking employment. He would like an entry level position in IT, such as working as help desk support where he can assist clients and troubleshoot technical issues. Other graduates are working as field technicians or desktop supporters.

Ayisat Ishola, of New York City, is a graduate from last year’s class who attended last week’s ceremony. She is now employed at an IT company called Zones.    

“TCS is demonstrating progress to elevate people with disabilities into new roles, new vocations, and where there appears to be a robust need for their services, talents, and skills,” Kramer says.