According to the CDC, 1 in 54 children has been identified with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), which has resulted in increasing demand for applied behavior analysis (ABA), the leading therapy for ASD. Newly diagnosed children are often placed on long waiting lists for ABA services. In fact, it’s estimated that there will be more than 15,400 job openings in California for behavior technicians through 2024.
Responding to the tremendous need for behavior technicians, Taller San Jose Hope Builders has created a new healthcare career technical training program for jobs as Registered Behavior Technicians, leveraging a workforce development grant from Bank of America. With the grant, Hope Builders created the new virtual program with Santiago Canyon College and hired new staff, as well as a case manager for the 12-week program for 45 young adults annually.
The online program prepares young people for frontline work in the high-demand ABA field, where they can earn a living wage (average California hourly wage is $18.81 for Registered Behavior Technicians), and helps prepare students for a certification exam, making them more competitive for entry-level opportunities.
This new program is both a response to the financial crisis triggered by the coronavirus pandemic and the demand for more behavior technicians to work with children with autism.