Hiring Hoosiers is a new initiative from RTV6 that works to connect Hoosiers to employment opportunities, career development resources, training programs and educational paths. In our Hiring Hoosiers reports we are taking a closer look at barriers to employment and things that get in the way of people getting the jobs they need to support themselves and their families. For more information, visit HiringHoosiers.com. See new stories weekdays at 6 a.m. on RTV6!
INDIANAPOLIS — Matt Knight is educated. He’s a graduate from the University of Indianapolis with a degree in political science with minors in history and information systems.
He’s also qualified.
“I also got my A+ certification about 2 years back in November of 2017,” he said.
Knight also has experience. His résumé showcases internships, involvement, and more. But years after graduating, he can’t find a job.
He’s kept track over the years of just how many times he’s tried.
“I’ve applied to over 2,000 jobs,” Knight said.
Knight, who has high-functioning autism, can only put his finger on one thing that may be holding him back.
LEARN MORE | Autism Society of Indiana
“I come off a little maybe cold, detached in the interview or maybe just nervous in the interview," Knight said. "I’m pretty sure it’s the interview.”
He’s worked with career coaches, and has been offered a handful of jobs in call centers.
“When it comes to me and other people like me, we’re hard-working, we’re dedicated, we tend to think outside the box and especially for someone like me, we’re very conscientious, we tend to get the job right," Knight said. "It’s always our goal to get the job right first, and then try to address any problems so we try to do a good job as fast and as accurately as possible.”
Knight’s former professor, James Fuller, said those are all qualities Knight exudes.
“I know him to be punctual, always present, always on time, always got his work done, and a hard worker who when he doesn’t understand something will try to figure it out,” Fuller said.
In the meantime, Knight is looking forward to the day his future employer tells him “you’re hired.”
“I think at the end of the day, autism, even though it’s definitely becoming more and more prevalent, but I think there’s still a problem when it comes to it," Knight said. "There’s still a barrier in terms of understanding when it comes to people like me and potential employers.”
Knight is looking for a job in the IT industry. If you’re interested in interviewing him, you can send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are resources out there for people in Indiana with autism. The Autism Society of Indiana helps connect you with job opportunities.