SEATTLE—The ongoing shortage of computer-science graduates has some of our area’s biggest employers looking for future workers in new places. They’re taking their pitch to a middle-school classroom, tapping into the talents of students with special needs.
There’s no shortage of dreams in this middle-school classroom at the Precision Learning Academy. Seventh-grader Ben Hudgings has an interest in global warming. “I wanted to be a scientist when I grow up. I wanted to be an animal biologist,” he said.
Sixth-grader Logan Pierce loves computers. “Making video games is definitely my thing. Developer, yeah,” he said.
Most of these classmates have autism, which can be a huge barrier to getting a job. Katie Hart knows how hard it is to be on the spectrum and make it past the first interview.
“I wouldn’t answer any questions if they asked if I had a disability,” she said. “I was…