Pilot program looks for high functioning autistic individuals, employers

By Signal Staff

Last update: Wednesday, January 24th, 2018

Adjunct MFTG Gregory Poteat delivers a presentation to high functioning autistic individuals about becoming a CNC machinist (compute numeric controlled) at Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center at College of the Canyons in Valencia on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

The Uniquely Abled Academy, a pilot program at COC looking to provide adults with high-functioning autism workforce training to ready them for jobs, is ready for its first fast track to start March 19.

College of the Canyons’ Center for Applied Competitive Technolgies hosted a meet and greet and open house to get the message out to the community about the new program.

The program offers workforce training that offers a national certification for students who are able to complete it. The program is intended for high-functioning adults on the autism spectrum who are interested in working in CNC machining. CNC machining is a manufacturing process that involves using computers to direct machining tools.

Justin Gamboa and Keely Gamboa listen to a presentation geared towards high functioning autistic individuals about becoming a CNC machinist (computer numeric controlled) at Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center at College of the Canyons in Valencia on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

One of the reasons the college created the program is due to the demand for employees in that field, said Michael Bastine, the director of COC’s Center for Applied Competitive Technologies.  

While there are plenty of students signed up for UAA’s first session this spring, the college is still welcoming potential partners who are interested in becoming part of the program’s partnership with employers, he said.

“We have an industry demand, within the entire Southern California area for CNC machinists,” Bastine said. “We want to place (the program’s students), that’s the ‘homerun;’ he said, “and when they graduate they’re going to have manufacturing industry-recognized credentials.”

Anyone interested in being an employer partner in the program, which would involve being a part of the CATC’s job fair for the program’s students on their last day, Friday, June 8, can contact Bastine by calling 661-362-3111 or sending an email to michael.bastine@canyons.edu.

From right to left, Spencer Benedetti and his career counselor, Jonathan Flint listen to a presentation geared towards high functioning autistic individuals about becoming a CNC machinist (computer numeric controlled) at Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center at College of the Canyons in Valencia on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

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Signal Staff

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Adjunct MFTG Gregory Poteat delivers a presentation to high functioning autistic individuals about becoming a CNC machinist (compute numeric controlled) at Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center at College of the Canyons in Valencia on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

Pilot program looks for high functioning autistic individuals, employers

The Uniquely Abled Academy, a pilot program at COC looking to provide adults with high-functioning autism workforce training to ready them for jobs, is ready for its first fast track to start March 19.

College of the Canyons’ Center for Applied Competitive Technolgies hosted a meet and greet and open house to get the message out to the community about the new program.

The program offers workforce training that offers a national certification for students who are able to complete it. The program is intended for high-functioning adults on the autism spectrum who are interested in working in CNC machining. CNC machining is a manufacturing process that involves using computers to direct machining tools.

Justin Gamboa and Keely Gamboa listen to a presentation geared towards high functioning autistic individuals about becoming a CNC machinist (computer numeric controlled) at Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center at College of the Canyons in Valencia on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

One of the reasons the college created the program is due to the demand for employees in that field, said Michael Bastine, the director of COC’s Center for Applied Competitive Technologies.  

While there are plenty of students signed up for UAA’s first session this spring, the college is still welcoming potential partners who are interested in becoming part of the program’s partnership with employers, he said.

“We have an industry demand, within the entire Southern California area for CNC machinists,” Bastine said. “We want to place (the program’s students), that’s the ‘homerun;’ he said, “and when they graduate they’re going to have manufacturing industry-recognized credentials.”

Anyone interested in being an employer partner in the program, which would involve being a part of the CATC’s job fair for the program’s students on their last day, Friday, June 8, can contact Bastine by calling 661-362-3111 or sending an email to michael.bastine@canyons.edu.

From right to left, Spencer Benedetti and his career counselor, Jonathan Flint listen to a presentation geared towards high functioning autistic individuals about becoming a CNC machinist (computer numeric controlled) at Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center at College of the Canyons in Valencia on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal