Melwood, Enabled Intelligence Announce Partnership to Recruit and Train 100 Neurodiverse AI Data Analysts

Larysa Kautz, President & CEO of Melwood
Larysa Kautz, President & CEO of Melwood

(US and Canada) Enabled Intelligence (EI), a global leader in mission-critical AI data solutions for the US Defense and Intelligence Community announced a groundbreaking new partnership with Melwood, a leading employer, advocate, and service provider for people with disabilities to recruit and train 100 AI data annotators.

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Larysa Kautz, President & CEO of Melwood

The innovative collaboration will bridge massive gaps in the IT and technical workforce by creating a steady pipeline of qualified talent, while also acting as a national model for hiring and training a neurodiverse workforce.

Under the partnership, Enabled Intelligence and Melwood have created a Geospatial Data Labeling bootcamp that will train individuals to meet the data labeling needs of the defense and intelligence community. Graduates of the program will garner critical technical skills needed in the growing AI industry including potential future roles in data annotation and AI labeling at Enabled Intelligence—positions that will ultimately support the needs of the federal government and, by extension, Americans at large.

This new bootcamp will add to Melwood's growing cadre of job training programs focused on the high tech industry, such as the existing AbilIT program, which combines technical training with soft skills to connect neurodivergent adults to careers in tech and tech-adjacent fields.

"EI's diverse and highly skilled workforce has been key to our success. Our ability to quickly and precisely annotate classified data sets has made us a proven partner for both the intelligence community and commercial customers," said Peter Kant, CEO of Enabled Intelligence.

Since its founding in 2020, Enabled Intelligence has trained scores of US veterans and people with disabilities to become expert AI data analysts, capable of precisely annotating raw, unstructured data types of interest to the US Defense and Intelligence Community, such as SAR, satellite, hyperspectral, video, and foreign language audio.

"Melwood is thrilled to partner with EI to solve some of our region's most complex and pressing challenges while creating pathways to economic independence for a traditionally underemployed population. By removing existing barriers, this workforce development partnership will ensure qualified and trained workers are ready for jobs in the growing IT and tech sectors," said Larysa Kautz, President & CEO of Melwood.

The announcement, which received praise from Congressman Don Beyer (D-VA), comes as the federal government and the contractors it relies on face significant challenges in finding enough IT professionals to fill growing demand in the AI and cybersecurity sectors. Last year, Rep. Beyer, Sen. Tim Kaine, and Sen. Mark Warner secured $307,000 in federal funding to support Melwood's Neurodivergent Workforce Initiative.

Research shows that neurodivergent populations, a category that includes conditions such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, Dyslexia, ADHD and others, bring untapped skillsets that are often well-suited for careers in IT, tech, and cybersecurity. The unemployment rate of workers with disabilities is twice as high as the unemployment rate for non-disabled workers. Ensuring that training, hiring and retention practices are universally designed to be accessible to all qualified workers is critical to closing existing gaps in the labor market.

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