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To paraphrase the U.S. Postal Service’s unofficial motto, neither snow nor gloom of night stayed AHRC New York City workers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds when Winter Storm Jonas slammed the greater New York City metropolitan area and Long Island.

In late January, Jonas pummeled New York City and Long Island with snow accumulations of historical proportions –– 26.5 inches of snow on average. The storm set an all-time record for daily snowfall in New York City; some areas, such as Queens, saw snowfall totals of 33 inches.

AHRC New York City responded to customer needs in coordinating, performing and assisting with snow removal. These customers included the New York City Transit Authority, New York City Department of Transportation Ferry and the New York City Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, among others.

Staff from AHRC New York City responded with professionalism and readiness, providing snow removal in all five boroughs from 9 p.m. on Friday, January 22 until 8 a.m. on Sunday, January 24, when the snow finally stopped. Blizzard conditions made it difficult even to use snow blowers at times, but employees worked diligently and expeditiously to remove snow and ensure public safety.

All told, 50 direct labor employees –– people supported through AHRC New York City programs and now working on agency contracts –– and supervisors provided 875 hours of snow removal services at 18 sites, including court houses, health clinics, bus depots and Park & Ride lots for MTA customers and buses. At least 60 percent of these direct labor employees were workers with significant disabilities, working hard alongside their peers and providing excellent service to customers, according to Steve Towler, AHRC New York City’s assistant executive director.

“One of the most amazing achievements was that, despite the travel ban and limited public transportation, everyone reported for their shift and work did not stop,” Towler said. “Workers were eager to be there, followed through on all guidelines and performed work according to AHRC’s Snow Removal Plan and training.”

This hard work did not go unnoticed by customers.

Hon. Elizabeth Stong, who presides in United States Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn, praised AHRC New York City workers for their extraordinary efforts, dedication and good spirits during Winter Storm Jonas.

“These kinds of efforts protect our building and ensure that the public and the people who work there have safe access to these buildings and a clear path to walk. They also make someone like me feel welcome and well taken care of as I come to work,” Judge Stong said. “Sometimes public service takes a robe, and sometimes it takes a shovel –– on that weekend, it took both!”

Douglas Patience, the U.S. General Services Administration’s senior property manager, emailed Marlon Mills, AHRC New York City’s project manager, to say, “Thanks Marlon! I hear you and your crew are doing a great job.”

“This was a storm for the records, and you guys responded professionally! Good job, guys!” wrote Tony Abdullah from the MTA Rail Control Center to Juan Guzman, an AHRC New York City regional manager.

Wildcat crew members likewise braved the elements during Winter Storm Jonas, as more than 50 workers cleared snow from doorways, driveways and sidewalks for 245 residences in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx, according to David Saturn, director of facilities for Wildcat, a division of Fedcap.

In Brooklyn’s District 43, New York City Council Member Vincent Gentile urged residents to register with his office prior to the storm in order to receive snow removal services. Margaret Thompson, a resident of District 43, echoed the sentiments of many residents in a letter to Council Member Gentile.


Cadman Plaza in Brooklyn is clear of snow, thanks to the hard work and dedication of AHRC New York City crews
“My dad is 91 years old, has a pacemaker and suffers from severe arthritis. My sisters and I live an hour away. Hearing the sense of relief and happiness in his voice when he told me Wildcat crews had shoveled and salted his driveway was priceless,” Thompson wrote. “I truly and sincerely want to thank you for offering this valuable service to a very vulnerable population and for implementing it in an effective, professional and friendly manner!”

In the Bronx’s District 14, New York City Council Member Fernando Cabrera grabbed a shovel and helped Wildcat crews remove snow from residences in his district. “Wildcat is doing an outstanding job helping with snow removal for senior homeowners in District 14,” he said. “This is a much-needed service for a vulnerable population in our community, and I am proud to partner with this organization this winter.”

Five days after the storm, Wildcat teams were still working to clear snow from residences, as well as fire hydrants, intersections and bus stops throughout New York City.

At Stony Brook University, crews from American Maintenance and Carlstrom & Ritter also rose to the occasion in response to Winter Storm Jonas. Nearly 55 people, including 25 workers with disabilities, worked on snow removal during the storm, according to Chris Alex, American Maintenance’s president.

Joanne Catanese, a contract officer with Stony Brook University Hospital, reported that she and her colleagues were truly pleased with their snow removal service. “We were very impressed with how clear the parking lot was when we came in,” she said. “After Winter Storm Jonas, the snow removal was stellar.”

Kudos to our downstate NYSID member agencies for their efficient, exemplary response and providing calm during the storm, when the greater New York City metropolitan area and Long Island needed it the most.
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NYSID Supports Assemblyman Santabarbara’s Autism Action Plan

NYSID recently participated in a media event with NYS Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara (D-111) and community leaders introducing his Autism Action Plan to create services and supports enhancing the quality of life of New Yorkers living with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and supporting their families and caregivers.

The event took place on January 29 at The Autism Society of the Greater Capital Region in Schenectady. Joe Messina, NYSID’s vice president of sales, attended the event on behalf of Ron Romano, NYSID president & CEO.

“This package of bills could make a difference for thousands of families across the state –– and it hits home for me,” said Assemblyman Santabarbara, whose 14-year-old son, Michael, was diagnosed with autism at age 3. “As the father of a teenage son with autism, I know firsthand the challenges that families in similar situations to mine face each and every day. I want the parents, siblings, friends and other caretakers of people with autism across the state to take comfort in knowing that they are not alone. I’m fighting to create more opportunities for those living with autism, and it’s my hope that this package of legislation will unlock the potential for thousands of New Yorkers.”

The Assemblyman’s proposed legislation calls for the creation and administration of adult service delivery models and the development of resources to support individuals with autism and their families across the lifespan.

One bill pertains to ACCES-VR and employment for New Yorkers living with ASD. Many individuals with disabilities, including those on the autism spectrum, may have difficulty with interpersonal communication that can hinder their ability to find and maintain employment, even when they possess job skills, higher education, and access to existing vocational rehabilitation services.

This bill addresses these challenges by directing the Commissioner of the New York State Education Department to incorporate a rehabilitation services program throughout the state that includes communication support among the suite of services currently offered to job seekers.

“New York State Industries for the Disabled, Inc. celebrates the contributions of New Yorkers living with Autism Spectrum Disorders to the social and economic well-being of NYS communities,” Romano said. “We applaud Assemblymember Santabarbara for his comprehensive autism action plan designed to create services and supports for these New Yorkers, their families and caregivers. We join the Assemblymember in his call to include communication support services through vocational programs like ACCES-VR, to improve employment outcomes for some job-seekers, particularly those with autism.”

Other bills in the Assemblyman’s Autism Action Plan would create an Autism ID Card, a State Autism Spectrum Disorder Advisory Board, an Autism Home Loan Program and a Communication & Technology Bill of Rights for People with Developmental Disabilities. The bill package has the support of NYSID, the Autism Society, Schenectady ARC, Liberty ARC and GRASP (Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership), all of whom were represented at the event.

Among the media outlets covering the event were: Time Warner Cable News, News 10, WAMC Northeast Public Radio and The Leader-Herald.

#AutismActionNY
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Annual Report Showcases Employment, Because NYSID Works

In 2015, NYSID Preferred Source contracts employed 7,052 New Yorkers with disabilities from our member agencies, providing $59.7 million in wages to individuals who worked 4.27 million employment hours.

NYSID’s 2015 Annual Report highlights these hard-working individuals and the jobs they performed.

These employment opportunities have evolved over time into life-changing experiences and financial security for New Yorkers, energizing communities and supporting government procurement needs.

Through Preferred Source contracts, NYSID and its member agencies provide the hope that, through training and opportunity, New Yorkers with disabilities can succeed in their employment goals.

Mark Matos embodies this personal hope and professional achievement. He works as a porter for Hudson River Services assigned to the New York City Fire Department’s (FDNY) Fort Totten training center.

Hudson River Services is an AHRC New York City-run business that provides general office and building services throughout New York City. In 2015, custodians from AHRC New York City began cleaning designated locations for the FDNY, including borough command sites, the Fort Totten training center and EMS stations, among others.

Mark is responsible for rest room cleaning, trash removal, dusting, sweeping, mopping and vacuuming in a large building where the FDNY trains its employees; he also responds to emergency situations, such as floods or spills.

Mark is an experienced porter who is able to solve problems and communicate with FDNY in addressing the challenges of cleaning a large facility with a high volume of employees. FDNY is extremely pleased with Mark’s work and his ability to meet the challenges of cleaning its facility.

Throughout the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island, 47 individuals with disabilities, including Mark, are contributing to the daily fabric of New York’s Bravest within their communities, an exceptional employment opportunity serving a most important customer.

NYSID acknowledges our member agencies and New York State legislators for creating meaningful employment for New Yorkers with disabilities and improving countless lives with the integrity that comes with being employed.

We wish you Happy New Year and look forward to continued collaboration in 2016 and beyond.
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In the spirit of the holiday season, NYSID employees delivered clothing, toys and accessories they donated to needy veterans receiving services through Saratoga County Rural Preservation Company (RPC) in Ballston Spa, as part of NYSID’s annual holiday tradition of giving back to the community.

NYSID employees delivered the gifts on Monday, December 21 to Saratoga RPC’s Guardian House in Ballston Spa.

NYSID “adopted” the Guardian House of Saratoga (for women) and the Vet House of Saratoga County (for men), along with two veterans with disabilities and their families. Saratoga County RPC provided “wish lists,” and NYSID staff joined forces to brighten the holiday season for the chosen individuals and families.

In keeping with its NYSID WORKS! beautification theme, NYSID also delivered Christmas trees, wreaths, ornaments and garlands to Saratoga County RPC.

“For 40 years, NYSID has been able to turn business opportunities into jobs for New Yorkers with disabilities, including veterans,” said Ron Romano, NYSID president & CEO. “Whatever the cause, whoever the individuals, NYSID employees traditionally help those less fortunate during the holiday season. We’re delighted to bring comfort and joy into the lives of others during this special time of year — and we wish everyone Happy Holidays!”

“Having been homeless and alone, these gifts mean so much to our veterans,” said Cheryl Hage-Perez, executive director of VETHELP. “NYSID went above and beyond to make sure each veteran will feel the spirit of Christmas. For the homeless veteran, it is not just the gift they will remember, it is that NYSID cared about them as individuals.”

Saratoga County RPC is a non-profit organization founded in 1983 that includes VETHELP and Saratoga Regional Housing Services. The agency works in partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and other agencies to provide veterans and others with both shelter and support within an environment that offers dignity, integrity and, most of all, hope.

Today, Saratoga County RPC provides a wide array of services, including: transitional housing for homeless male and female veterans; permanent housing for veterans and their families; employment and training assistance for veterans; rental assistance programs; and mortgage assistance for affordable home ownership.

Saratoga RPC is a regular participant in NYSID’s quarterly Veterans’ Summits, which foster collaboration and networking while advancing the cause of identifying jobs for veterans with disabilities. Summit participants include New York State government agencies, not-for-profits, veterans’ service organizations, Wounded Warriors, institutions of higher learning, and rehabilitation organizations, including NYSID members.
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NYSID was honored to receive a letter of commendation from Governor Andrew Cuomo praising NYSID and its member agencies for creating jobs across New York State.

"New Yorkers with disabilities have increasingly important roles in our workforce, as we all benefit from their skills, knowledge, and expertise," Governor Cuomo's letter reads, in part. "NYSID is a resource that connects people with disabilities –– including many veterans –– with the right job in the right environment, allowing them to find greater independence and fulfillment, both professionally and personally." To read Governor Cuomo's letter in its entirety, visit the link below.

The letter was presented to NYSID on behalf of Governor Cuomo by Todd Rosenfield, operations director with the New York State Division of Veterans’ Affairs, during NYSID's quarterly Veterans' Summit on December 2. Summit participants include the New York State Office of General Services, members of the New York State Senate and New York State Assembly, not-for-profits, veterans’ service organizations, institutions of higher learning, and rehabilitation organizations, including NYSID members.
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NYSID President & CEO Ron Romano Interviewed by 810 WGY

Ron Romano, NYSID president & CEO, recently was interviewed by Diane Donato, news anchor/reporter for IHeart Media Albany, 810 WGY.

Ron discussed how NYSID works with its member and associate member agencies to turn business opportunities into jobs for New Yorkers with disabilities.

“Our definition and our mission includes individuals who are developmentally disabled, with mental health issues or physically disabled, or substance abuse issues,” he said. “We work with small businesses, minority and women-owned businesses, and veterans to provide opportunities for those individuals.”

He talked about the people NYSID serves and the types of jobs NYSID creates in products and services.

“It’s a social enterprise, we’re given the opportunity, and we’re given the procurement, so we have to perform accordingly,” he said.

Ron also described how NYSID benefits all involved and how unemployment has disproportionately affected New Yorkers with disabilities.

“Our program addresses the disparity of individuals of working age between the ages of 24 and 65,” he said. “The percentage of individuals with disabilities working is 34 percent, compared to 75 percent among individuals overall. We’re working to fill that gap of opportunities for New Yorkers with disabilities.

“These are, in many cases, life-changing opportunities. They provide people with not only a paycheck, but independence, integrity and a sense of purpose.”

The interview is accessible via podcast. ( http://www.wgy.com/media/podcast-clearview-clearview/new-york-state-industries-for-the-26502699/ ) It originally aired November 14-15 on the following IHeart Media Albany stations: FOX Sports 980, 99.5 The River, Oldies 98.3, PYX 106, 810 WGY and 103.1 WGY, and 102.3 Kiss FM.
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Andy Grosso Retires, Marking the End of an Era at NYSID

Of all the things Andy Grosso enjoyed about NYSID, it’s the people involved in the organization that he misses the most in retirement.

“My greatest joys have been my time in the field, visiting the people we serve, our members and customers,” he said. “I learned so much by listening to our external stakeholders and collaborators as we crafted value propositions driving job growth.”

Andy retired from NYSID at the end of 2015 after an illustrious 18-year career, leaving a lasting impression upon an organization he loved with a passion.

He started at NYSID in January 1998 as vice president of marketing and sales, a position he would hold for the next 10 years. In this role, Andy was responsible for marketing, sales, customer service, marketing communications, forecasting sales goals, data analysis and reporting.

“Essentially, the marketing and sales team was charged with branding and positioning, jobs and revenue growth, customer and member relations/care, telling the NYSID story, creating sales forecasts, and reporting annual and monthly performance of sales and customer service goals,” he said.

From 2008 until his retirement, Andy served as vice president of business development, taking a long-term strategic view of NYSID’s branding positioning and assessing the dynamics of the marketplace to create more jobs for individuals with disabilities.

When Andy began at NYSID in 1998, jobs for New Yorkers with disabilities totaled fewer than 2,000. By 2015, more than 7,000 individuals worked on NYSID contracts, thanks in part to Andy’s vision and can-do approach.

“It was a time of burnishing and expanding our brand equity, leading to ‘Preferred Source Solutions,’ CREATE (Cultivating Resources for Employment with Assistive TEchnology), Veterans’ Summits, Battle Buddy Centers, NYSID WORKS! and franchising initiatives,” he said.

Andy helped NYSID make great progress in its qualitative metrics, including member and customer relations, industry preeminence within the State Use PRograms Association, Inc. (SUPRA), brand recognition, professionalism and character –– “in other words, who we are, and how we do what we do,” he said.

Andy also was known for his many “Grosso-isms,” whimsical words and phrases that prompted discussion and inspired others to think outside the box. These included, “Here’s a matzah ball for you…” (when he had a new idea or different approach), “I heard a rumor…” (when acknowledging a colleague’s accomplishment) and “We’re all gonna have to get rotator cuff surgery from patting ourselves on the back!” (when praising others for a job well done).

“Andy was the perfect sounding board, always knowing when a pep talk was needed and offering just the right words at the right time,” said Ron Romano, NYSID president & CEO. “On behalf of NYSID, I’d like to thank him for his numerous contributions and the countless lives he touched.”

Andy will continue to serve as a consultant for NYSID on its CREATE program and Veterans’ Initiatives.

And when he isn’t working, how will Andy pass the time in retirement?

“I’m looking forward to spending much more time with my family as it continues to grow, spending more time in my vegetable garden, serving on boards of emerging enterprises, and possibly doing some writing in the value delivery area of marketing,” he said.
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TIP 2016 Features Diverse, New Sessions and Cutting-Edge Topics

In 2016, NYSID introduces a new year of educational training through our respected Training & Information Program (TIP) at our Albany headquarters training facility and other regional TIP sessions across New York State.

Our 2016 training roster spans a wide and diverse range of nearly 20 topics in the areas of: Business Development and Marketing; Cyber Security and Social Media; Human Resources; Labor; Management Development; and Staff Development.

We’re further aligning our offerings with consumer demand for cutting-edge process improvements, adding the following sessions: Cyber Security; Social Media Marketing for Business; Communicate With the Style of a Dynamic Supervisor; Exceptional Presentation and Training Skills; and Managing Your Time at Work.

In the area of Business Development and Marketing, we’re offering a new November session, “Funding Mission Through Franchising: A Nonprofit Guide,” as our member agencies seek innovative strategies to achieve their missions.

TIP was developed for professionals who take a forward-looking approach to their work and who proactively seek ways to improve business operations while creating job opportunities for New Yorkers with disabilities.

In addition, NYSID’s Lending Library has many publications and resources available for loan; visit http://www.nysid.org/tip/lending-library.cfm to view what’s available.

For more information on TIP, contact Karen DiBella, TIP manager, at kdibella@nysid.org or 518.694.0220.

We look forward to a successful 2016 as we work together in fulfillment of the NYSID mission of “Turning Business Opportunities into Jobs for New Yorkers with Disabilities.”

(The current edition of the TIP Catalog includes sessions from January to June; a subsequent edition will be published this spring and will include sessions from July to December.)
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NYS Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush (R,C,I-117) recently visited Lewis County Industries, The Arc Oneida-Lewis Chapter work center in Lowville.

The Arc posted video of the Assemblyman’s visit on its YouTube channel. https://youtu.be/zwH-70Z2r-4

During his first ever visit to the work center, Assemblyman Blankenbush found a dedicated workforce and people The Arc supports who want the option to continue working at the site if they so choose.

The Assemblyman is taking that message back to Albany and is seeking feedback from individuals with disabilities and their families.

“When you talk to the individuals that work here, you can see in their expressions, you can see in the way they talk how proud they are of the job that they’re doing and how happy they are because they consider themselves useful,” Assemblyman Blankenbush said. “These people are very committed, and all you have to do is talk to some of the people who work here and you can see how committed and happy they are because they have a place they can come to every day.”

Assmblyman Blankenbush’s visit was part of NYSARC’s “It Matters to Me” campaign, a statewide, grassroots advocacy effort designed to share the personal, compelling stories and circumstances of concerned families and providers on the issues that matter most to them.

Visit NYSARC to learn more about the “It Matters to Me” campaign. Be sure to contact your New York State Senator and New York State Assemblymember and encourage them to support individuals with disabilities.
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NYSID Opens Battle Buddy Center at LaGuardia Community College

NYSID dedicated its 10th Battle Buddy Center at LaGuardia Community College, in collaboration with NYSID member agency Goodwill Industries of Greater New York and Northern New Jersey. Among those who participated in the November 30 Battle Buddy Center dedication ceremony:

Ron Romano, NYSID president & CEO
Dr. Michael Baston, LaGuardia Community College vice president of student affairs
Stephen Clark, LaGuardia veteran services director
Linda Turner, executive vice president, human services, Goodwill Industries
Student veterans from LaGuardia

Ron Romano, NYSID president & CEO, said: “NYSID supports job creation efforts for a diverse group of New Yorkers with disabilities through our member agencies and assists with veterans’ support programs, promoting quality of life for veterans as they reconnect to the New York State workforce. NYSID supports LaGuardia Community College and its Veteran Services Office in assisting veterans achieve success personally, academically and professionally. Based upon the current veteran population and the anticipated growth of veterans’ programs and services, NYSID is pleased to partner with LaGuardia Community College and Goodwill Industries of Greater New York and Northern New Jersey in this Battle Buddy Center.”

Dr. Gail O. Mellow, LaGuardia Community College president, said: “Since we opened our doors over 40 years ago, LaGuardia Community College has provided veterans with education, training and services they need as they transition from military to civilian life. We’re thrilled to be among the first Battle Buddy Centers in New York City, which will allow us to strengthen our support for our vets. We are enormously grateful to our partners NYSID and Goodwill Industries for this opportunity to continue to serve those who have served our country.”

Battle Buddy Centers are safe havens for veterans to socialize with their fellow veterans and receive services they need. Based on the military concept of a “Battle Buddy,” which partners soldiers to assist each other both in and out of combat, Battle Buddy Centers offer activities to encourage camaraderie and foster veterans to give and receive mutual support.

Through this Battle Buddy Center, LaGuardia Community College’s Office for Veteran Services will continue to advance more than 350 veterans, reservists, military personnel, and their families into the future. It will provide dedicated assistance in the transition from military life to academic life and on to careers.

Goodwill Industries of Greater New York and Northern New Jersey’s veteran employment program, Operation: GoodJobs, will continue to work with LaGuardia Community College to offer career assessment, individualized career planning, financial education, job placement and career advancement services. Operation: GoodJobs also offers transitional services, family support services, assistance with child care, support for spouses and other family members.

NYSID now has participated in the opening of Battle Buddy Centers at 10 locations, including:

LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City

John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City

Westchester Community College in Valhalla

Rockland Community College in Suffern

SUNY Ulster in Stone Ridge

The College of Saint Rose in Albany

Hudson Valley Community College in Troy

Columbia-Greene Community College in Hudson

SUNY Adirondack in Queensbury

Clear Path for Veterans in Chittenango

NYSID’s Battle Buddy Centers have collectively hosted more than 30,000 visits by veterans since September 2011. Battle Buddy Centers are made possible through grant funding from NYSID and support from NYSID member agencies.

LaGuardia Community College was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all and proudly carries forward that legacy today. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia educates students through more than 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams.
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NYSID Dedicates Battle Buddy Center at The College of Saint Rose

NYSID dedicated its newest Battle Buddy Center at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, in collaboration with Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany, during an early Veterans’ Day celebration on the College campus.

Battle Buddy Centers are safe havens for veterans to socialize with their fellow veterans and receive services they need.

Based on the military concept of a “Battle Buddy,” which partners soldiers to assist each other both in and out of combat, Battle Buddy Centers offer activities to encourage camaraderie and foster veterans to give and receive mutual support.

Among those participating in the Battle Buddy Center dedication ceremony:

Ron Romano, NYSID president & CEO

Dr. Carolyn J. Stefanco, The College of Saint Rose president

Vincent Colonno, Catholic Charities CEO

Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger, Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany
Congressman Paul Tonko (NY-20)

NYS Senator Betty Little (R-45)

NYS Assemblymember John McDonald (D-108)

Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan

Colonel Eric Hesse, U.S. Army (Retired), New York State Division of Veterans’ Affairs director

Student veterans from The College of Saint Rose


Corporal Shawn Sutton ’17, United States Marine Corps, and president of The College of Saint Rose Student Veteran Association, gave a student veteran reflection; he has played an integral role in NYSID Battle Buddy Centers at The College of Saint Rose and Hudson Valley Community College. Colonel Michael Marcomb ’87, United States Army, delivered the keynote address.

Ron Romano, NYSID president & CEO, said: “NYSID supports job creation efforts for a diverse group of New Yorkers with disabilities through our member agencies and assists with veterans’ support programs, promoting quality of life for veterans as they reconnect to the New York State workforce. We recognize that creating educational and employment opportunities for service-disabled veterans and other New Yorkers who face barriers to employment is not only the right thing to do, it also improves our state’s economy and strengthens our communities. NYSID supports The College of Saint Rose and its Veterans’ Student Group in assisting veterans achieve success personally, academically and professionally. Based upon the current veteran population and the anticipated growth of veterans’ programs and services, NYSID is pleased to partner with The College of Saint Rose and Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany in this Battle Buddy Center.”

Dr. Carolyn J. Stefanco, The College of Saint Rose president, said: “Since the days after World War II, when they were among the first males to attend Saint Rose, veterans have constituted an integral part of our total student body, bringing a diversity of life experiences and educational backgrounds that enrich and strengthen the overall academic experience for all students. We want veterans to know that if they come to Saint Rose, we will see them through a successful military-to-civilian transition. They have served their country, and it is part of our mission to support them and their families.”

The new Battle Buddy Center offers veterans and military families a quiet space where they can work at computers and work stations, access the Internet, relax in comfortable seating and network with people with a shared experience. On-site staff will provide references for veterans with questions about health services, disabilities and benefits. The center also offers meeting space for the College’s chapter of the Student Veterans of America and for veterans to meet with Veterans Administration representatives.

NYSID’s Battle Buddy Centers have collectively hosted more than 30,000 visits by veterans since September 2011. Battle Buddy Centers are made possible through grant funding from NYSID and support from NYSID member agencies. In addition to The College of Saint Rose, NYSID has participated in the opening of Battle Buddy Centers at the following eight locations: Hudson Valley Community College (Troy); Columbia-Greene Community College (Hudson); SUNY Adirondack (Queensbury); Westchester Community College (Valhalla); Rockland Community College (Suffern); John Jay College of Criminal Justice (New York City); SUNY Ulster (Stone Ridge); and Clear Path for Veterans (Chittenango).

Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany is one of the largest, private, social service agencies in the region, helping more than 81,000 people each year in the 14 counties of the Albany Diocese. Catholic Charities focuses on helping the most vulnerable in our communities, including people with developmental disabilities, pregnant and parenting teens, immigrants and refugees, the unemployed, victims of domestic violence, and the homeless. For more information, visit: http://www.ccrcda.org.

The College of Saint Rose is home to student veterans hailing from all branches of the military. It has been named to the Military Friendly School List for five consecutive years and is committed to recognizing and building upon the diverse skills, experiences and perspectives of its veteran students. The College values the unique contribution that veterans bring to campus and works to ensure their transition meets its full potential. For more information, visit: http://www.strose.edu/admissions/first-year-students/veterans.
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Turning business opportunities into jobs for New Yorkers with disabilities.
Introduction

NYSID is the leading source of job opportunities for New Yorkers with disabilities. We make gainful employment possible for this dedicated and highly qualified workforce through New York State's Preferred Source Program, which was created by Section 162 of the New York State Finance Law.

Rehabilitative agencies throughout New York, who support individuals with disabilities, choose to become members of NYSID. On behalf of these members and often in conjunction with private sector associate members, NYSID enters into contracts with state and local government agencies for services and goods which are then performed by this workforce. Examples of such goods are custodial products, custom apparel, and health care supplies, and our business services range from document imaging, to janitorial and groundskeeping, to industrial laundry, electronics recycling, mailing, and others.

Over 7,000 jobs are created annually by NYSID through the Preferred Source program, which not only give dignity and sense of purpose to New Yorkers with disabilities but also satisfy the procurement needs of our state and local government agencies.

NYSID is grateful to have been able to serve New Yorkers with disabilities since 1975 and humbly reflects on "40 Years of Looking Forward."