L&I’s Hiram G. Andrews Center Hosts 2024 Autism Awareness & Acceptance Walk, Resource Fair

Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Secretary Nancy A. Walker joined more than 400 autism-support students and educators from 15 Pennsylvania schools for the 2024 Autism Awareness & Acceptance Walk and Resource Fair, an annual event held at L&I’s Hiram G. Andrews Center (HGAC) to celebrate autism awareness and showcase the state-operated facility’s offerings of postsecondary education, pre-employment transition and support services designed for people with disabilities.

Established in 1959 and operated through L&I’s Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR), HGAC specializes in providing barrier-free education and job-readiness programs to people of all backgrounds and ability levels. HGAC served more than 1,200 individuals in 2023. The HGAC campus also includes the Commonwealth Technical Institute (CTI), an accredited postsecondary trade and technical school specializing in education for individuals with disabilities with three associate degree programs preparing students for work in medical offices, culinary arts, and networking technology. CTI also offers seven diploma programs for careers in office administration, automotive technology, building maintenance, culinary assistant, materials management and distribution, nurse aide, and welding technology.

“Individuals with autism – just like people with disabilities of all kinds – have so much to offer in the workplace and in the community. What HGAC and CTI staff do so well is help individuals unlock the potential that’s already there so that they can thrive in a career of their choosing and achieve independence,” Secretary Walker said. “The educational programs offered at HGAC and CTI are open to all Pennsylvanians, but it’s so important that our neighbors and colleagues with disabilities know that there’s a special place in Johnstown where the facilities, staff and programs are designed specifically with them in mind – and that’s why I was so glad to see so many students and educators at this year’s event.”

Prospective students, their teachers and families are always invited to tour the HGAC/CTI campus. Schedule a tour or inquire about applying for admission by calling 1-800-762-4211 or 814-255-8200. Information is available on L&I’s website.