EY’s Chicago Office Hires Often Overlooked ‘Neurodiverse’ Workers

Adults With Autism Thrive At EY’s Neurodiversity Program In Chicago
(From left to right) Justin Pierce, Ian Nancarrow, Christopher Easton — associates at EY's Neurodiversity Center of Excellence in Chicago — and Hiren Shukla, EY's neurodiversity program leader. EY
Adults With Autism Thrive At EY’s Neurodiversity Program In Chicago
(From left to right) Justin Pierce, Ian Nancarrow, Christopher Easton — associates at EY's Neurodiversity Center of Excellence in Chicago — and Hiren Shukla, EY's neurodiversity program leader. EY

EY’s Chicago Office Hires Often Overlooked ‘Neurodiverse’ Workers

Fewer than one in six adults with autism has full-time employment, and only a third of them are in some kind of paid work.

Here in Chicago, a new program is trying to change that by tapping into the talent of adults with autism. The Neurodiversity Center of Excellence launched in January at the Chicago office of EY, formerly known as Ernst & Young.

The center is the latest addition to EY’s growing neurodiversity program, which employs 60 people in Chicago, Dallas, Philadelphia and San Jose. The program in Chicago has 15 associates, and most of them moved out of state for the position.

Morning Shift checks in with EY’s Neurodiversity Center of Excellence in Chicago.

Ian Nancarrow, 31, of West Bloomfield, Mich.

Adults With Autism Thrive At EY’s Neurodiversity Program In Chicago
“I actually feel like I’m in my future right now. It’s such a dream to be able to wake up every morning, walk down Chicago of all places.” Stephanie Kim / WBEZ

Justin Pierce, 31, of Traverse City, Mich.

Adults With Autism Thrive At EY’s Neurodiversity Program In Chicago
“I say it’s like your Cinderella story happy ending when the glass shoe finally fits.” Stephanie Kim / WBEZ

Christopher Easton, 23, of Athens, Ga.

Adults With Autism Thrive At EY’s Neurodiversity Program In Chicago
“One of the main things that this job means to me is stability.” Stephanie Kim / WBEZ

GUESTS: Hiren Shukla, program leader of EY’s Neurodiversity Center of Excellence

Ian Nancarrow, associate at EY’s Neurodiversity Center of Excellence in Chicago

LEARN MORE: How Neurodiversity Is Driving Innovation From Unexpected Places (EY 5/10/19)