Uniquely Abled Academy

women at CNC machine

High Performing Jobs for People with High Functioning Autism

The Uniquely Abled Academy (UAA) at Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) is designed to provide individuals with high functioning autism the hands-on training and high-tech skills needed to prepare for a career as a computer numerical control (CNC) operator.

The UAA CNC pilot program is a cohort-based 16-week training with more than 500 hours of instruction. Participants will learn how to apply basic safety practices in the machine shop, interpret industrial/engineering drawings, apply precision measuring methods to part inspection, and perform basic machine tool equipment setup and operation. 

Upon completion, graduates will earn a CNC Setup and Operations credential, qualifying them for a number of entry-level positions, including machine trainee, machinist apprentice and CNC operator, with salaries starting at $14-$17 per hour. If graduates want to continue expanding their skills, the CNC Setup and Operations courses are part of MATC’s Machine Tool Operations technical diploma, allowing graduates to get a jump start on earning additional credentials.  

Space is limited. Learn more about this innovative program at an upcoming UAA Virtual Information Session.

Register to attend an info session

For more information, contact Heather Lorbiecki at lorbiech@matc.edu or 414-297-6962.


CNC operators are an essential part of 21st century manufacturing. This in-demand occupation seeks individuals with unique and specific skill sets.  

To be successful in this role, CNC operators should have the following traits: a keen eye for detail, mechanical aptitude, ability to perform mathematical calculations, basic understanding of computer software, ability to comply with safety guidelines, and strong problem-solving and multitasking skills.

Eligibility requirements

  • High school or GED diploma
  • Completion of UAA admissions steps
  • Ability to function independently in social and academic settings