NEW YORK — Louis Berger, a $1 billion global engineering and development firm, today announced its ongoing and future plans for increased involvement in ASTEP’s (Asperger Syndrome Training and Employment Partnership) Corporate Lecture Series, the only program of its kind that offers weekly interactive sessions for employers and young job seekers with Asperger Syndrome and similar autism profiles.
“ASTEP’s Corporate Lecture Series and its graduates have not only opened our eyes to fresh recruitment strategies — they’ve given us a tremendous boost within our own organization,” said John Pryor, Louis Berger’s vice president of human resources. “Perhaps not coincidentally, the constructive impact has been most evident in our human resources department, as that’s where we’ve welcomed and allocated ASTEP talent.”
Louis Berger was introduced to ASTEP after a number of positive interactions with graduates of the Corporate Lecture Series. One in particular left a strong impression on Pryor; this young man, named Sean, was offered a temporary position in early August of 2015. He began working at Louis Berger’s corporate headquarters in Morristown, New Jersey, and his assignment was recently extended for another six weeks at the firm’s New York office.
“Sean’s story exemplifies why Louis Berger and so many other companies have committed to the Corporate Lecture Series,” said Marcia Scheiner, founder and president of ASTEP. “His skills have measurably contributed to Louis Berger’s culture and workforce.”
ASTEP’s unique program, now in its fifth year, aims to connect recent college graduates with Asperger Syndrome and similar autism profiles to corporations, primarily Fortune 1000 companies. On November 18, Louis Berger will be presenting as part of the 2015 NYC Corporate Lecture Series, which launched September 1 and wraps in December. Panelists will include contributors from the company’s human resources, information technology and finance departments. Sean — the graduate who continues to impress his colleagues at Louis Berger — will also serve on the panel.
More than 20 young adults have been selected to participate in this Corporate Lecture Series, representing a variety of schools, among them City University of New York, Wesleyan University, State University of New York Purchase and Rutgers University. Following each presentation, participants and employers engage in an open networking session.
“These bright young adults continue to face rates of unemployment that are unacceptable. Currently, individuals on the spectrum with a college education experience a 75 to 85 percent unemployment rate after graduation,” Scheiner pointed out. “This needs to change, and with champion partners like Louis Berger, it will.”
About Louis Berger
Louis Berger is a $1 billion global professional services corporation that helps infrastructure and development clients solve their most complex challenges. We are a trusted partner to national, state and local government agencies; multilateral institutions; and commercial industry clients worldwide. By focusing on client needs to deliver quality, safe, financially successful projects with integrity, we are committed to deliver on our promise to provide solutions for a better world. Louis Berger operates on every habitable continent. We have a long-standing presence in more than 50 nations, represented by the multidisciplinary expertise of 6,000 engineers, economists, scientists, managers and planners.
Founded in 2010, ASTEP (Asperger Syndrome Training & Employment Partnership) is a 501(c)3 organization that provides end-to-end solutions for Fortune 1000 companies interested in hiring and retaining employees with Asperger’s and similar autism profiles. What sets ASTEP apart from similar recruitment firms is its focus on the employer side of the equation; ASTEP’s mission creates not only opportunities for individuals but also employer access to this underappreciated and underemployed workforce.