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From intern to employee: Neurodiverse students thrive in an aerospace company – Montreal

For Zachary Kruse, it started as a simple cleaning internship.

Aeromotion Canada in Baie-D’Urfé agreed to have him and other students from Summit School, a Montreal school serving students with various neurodevelopmental conditions, in their warehouse to clean up the dots. of contact during the pandemic.

But it eventually turned into more as soon as the company realized what else it could do.

“At first I was cleaning the whole building during COVID, but now I have a bigger responsibility,” Kruse said. “I clean airplane parts.”

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Aeromotion is a private company that repairs aircraft carrier engines.

The company admits that at first it didn’t think it was a space Summit students could thrive in, but they were quickly proven wrong.

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“Just the unknown of what they can and can’t do,” said Randall Lidstone, director of sales at Aeromotion. “But they’ve been a tremendous benefit to our business and I’m thrilled with this program.”

Today, three students are interning at Aeromotion and doing everything from cleaning parts to scanning documents to shipping and receiving.

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One student will even work full-time at Aeromotion after graduating from Summit this summer.

Their coach, Carolyne Johnstone, says work experience like the one they get in the aerospace business is invaluable to them.

“When a professional coach starts with a student and he’s never been on stage before, you see the wide eye – he’s very nervous,” she said. “But once they have a few stages under their belt, you can just see the confidence. It’s like, ‘OK, I can do this, I know I can do this.’

Aeromotion says it hopes it will serve as an example for other companies, so that more companies follow in their footsteps.

Because they say these students can actually help you, more than you will help them.