As National Disability Employment Awareness Month closes, ACL is announcing Mentra as the $100,000 grand prize winner of the Inclusive Pipeline for American Businesses Challenge competition.
Research shows American businesses that hire and support workers with disabilities see improved performance and productivity—28% higher revenue and 30% higher profit margins. However, businesses that want to diversify their workforces do not always know how to implement effective talent pipelines that include people with disabilities, and people with disabilities experience many barriers to employment that lead to a higher unemployment rate when compared to their non-disabled peers.
In November 2019, ACL launched the Inclusive Talent Pipeline for American Businesses challenge competition to help businesses identify ways to help expand their recruiting and retention programs to better include workers with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
ACL called on American businesses to join the challenge and compete for a total of $380,000 awarded in three phases. ACL received more than 50 proposals; five were selected to move on to phase 2, where three finalists were chosen. On October 19, finalists presented the results of their pilot projects, and Mentra was chosen as the grand prize winner by a panel of judges.
Mentra describes their solution as “a neurodivergent-friendly talent platform that intelligently matches neurodiverse individuals with employers that value their strengths.” Using artificial intelligence, Mentra’s algorithm learns from an employer’s hiring needs. It matches candidates to employers based on a holistic understanding of the candidate’s personality, preferences, and skills. The platform was developed by a team that includes both neurotypical and neurodiverse people, and the company’s leadership team includes neurodiverse individuals, as well.
Learn more about ACL's Inclusive Pipeline for American Businesses Challenge.