[caption id="attachment_231791" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] The Precisionists Inc. cut the ribbon on their latest Innovation and Technology Center in Center City Philadelphia in April, and has plans to expand to two more cities this year. | PHOTO COURTESY OF TPI[/caption]
WILMINGTON — Advancing its goal to place more than 10,000 neurodiverse workers in jobs across the country in the next few years, The Precisionists Inc. (TPI) has opened a new center in Philadelphia.TPI’s new Innovation and Technology center opened out of the PECO building on Market Street in April, and is projected to create more than 500 jobs for local adults with autism or disabilities from Down syndrome to Tourette syndrome, attention deficit disorder to the autism spectrum, and more. Those jobs would be in IT and back office work like accounting, finance, human resources and more. TPI already has partnerships with PECO, Independence Blue Cross, Drexel University, Vertex, CAG Truck Capital, and more. “Philadelphia is the sixth largest city in the country, and there’s a tremendous amount of activity in Center City. We felt that establishing a hub there, we would still grow in Wilmington and the surrounding area — and here’s companies here that are very excited about neurodiverse employment,” TPI founder and CEO Ernie Dianastasis told the Delaware Business Times.Even with strong established partnerships, TPI is continuing to look for more clients and to compete for contracts. The firm is actively working with Select Greater Philadelphia, the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia and the University City Science Center to broaden its opportunities.Founded in 2016, TPI both prepares and places neurodiverse individuals with employers and also employs them at its original Innovation and Technology Center off U.S. Route 202 in the Wilmington suburbs. The training program starts with a skills assessment interview and later includes a four-week program that includes technical skills and soft skills. By the third week, TPI has a sense of the cohort's strengths and starts matching trainees with projects with clients.“We have to compete for businesses against the likes of Deloitte and Accenture, but when our customers hear that a significant portion of our workforce are neurodivergent individuals, it really does give us an advantage,” Dianastasis said. “Not only do we provide great results, we also advance diversity and inclusion initiatives.”Founded in 2016, The Precisionists has trained and placed hundreds neurodiverse individuals with employers and also employs them at its Innovation and Technology Center off U.S. Route 202 north of Wilmington. Other notable clients include Comcast, Exelon, M&T Bank, DuPont and CSC.In the weeks that have passed since TPI officially opened the doors on its Philadelphia center, Dianastasis said the city community has welcomed the firm with open arms. TPI is ramping up its direct marketing efforts and working with industry groups, but there is one notable connection that is helping the company break through.“Pat Harker with the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia has been very helpful. And that’s how it works: you network, and he’s a Delaware friend in Philadelphia,” Dianastasis said of the former University of Delaware president who now leads the federal bank.TPI also has presences in Nashville, Phoenix and Cleveland, and it’s preparing to close agreements to open branches in two more cities this year, Dianastasis said. The company has six cities that are actively courting them, right now. To Dianastasis, it just shows the appetite for an untapped resource.“The most important thing out of all of this is transforming lives,” he said. “When [our trainees] can see other neurodivergent individuals drive themselves to work, that motivates them to do it. We have trainees going out for movie nights, and their families tell us that’s the first time they’ve done something like that in their lives. That kind of impact really makes this special.”
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