First Place: Opening Up
February 2016
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Transition Academy Students Tour Maricopa Skills Center

GateWay Community College officials recently hosted the First Place Transition Academy students on a tour of the Maricopa Skills Center. The MSC offers programs that will give students the tools to enhance their resume, acquire essential job searching techniques and attain the necessary skills employers are seeking. Each program has specifically detailed curriculum and paired with hand-on training. Programs offered:

  • Cosmetology-Aesthetician - Cosmetologist and Massage Therapy

  • Business and Technology - Computer Support Specialist, Customer Service Representative, Retail Representative, and Travel and Tourism.

  • Health Care – Nursing Assistant/Patient Care Technician and Ophthalmic Assistant.

  • Trades – Auto Body, Construction Trades such as Carpentry, Electrician and Plumbing, Meat Cutting, Precision Machining, and Welding.

Our students are interested in the programs and a few plan to pursue this as a possible career path.

There's Still Time to RSVP!  

Join us February 25 at ASU Downtown Phoenix and Changing Hands Bookstore in Phoenix. In a Different Key tells the extraordinary story of this often misunderstood condition, and of the civil rights battles waged by the families of those who have it. Unfolding over decades, it is a beautifully rendered history of ordinary people determined to secure a place in the world for those with autism—by liberating children from dank institutions, campaigning for their right to go to school, challenging expert opinion on what it means to have autism, and persuading society to accept those who are different. RSVP here.

A Community Smiles: Building Hope for Adults With Autism

SMILE Biscotti’s success is a beautiful example of how a community has embraced Matt and his coworkers. These young adults and hope are the most important ingredients in SMILE Biscotti. Read the full article.



Health and Wellness starts with you. First Place is developing a tele-health program in collaboration with Dignity Health/Barrow Neurological Institute to address the medical needs of adults with autism while streamlining the process for individuals and their families. We'd greatly appreciate your help. Please assist us by taking this survey.

The Frighteningly Few Housing Options for Adults with Autism

A San Francisco mother discusses the limited resources for adults with autism. Read more.


Are Individuals with Autism the Best Workers Around?

More employers are seeing the potential benefits of hiring autistic individuals, especially for jobs that require the ability to concentrate on long, repetitive tasks, retention of large amounts of information, a knack for detecting patterns, or strong mathematics and coding skills. Read more.
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