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As NYSID continues its 40th anniversary celebration, we acknowledge our member agencies and corporate partners for creating meaningful employment for New Yorkers with disabilities throughout our 40-year history. We couldn’t have done it without YOU!

We’re highlighting these organizations, county by county, to demonstrate their human service support and economic impact within communities across New York State.

In Orange County, 132 New Yorkers with disabilities worked 129,596 employment hours on Preferred Source contracts in 2014! Thanks to Access: Supports for Living Inc. (formerly Occupations, Inc.) and Unitex Rental Textile Services for their job creation efforts.

Victoria Ortiz from Access is one of 59 Joslin Outstanding Performers nominated by NYSID member agencies and corporate partners in 2014. She is currently employed by Access on several Department of Transportation (DOT) contracts held with NYSID. Victoria began her association with Access in 2000 seeking clinical services. With these supports in place, she began working in the Scotchtown work center on a fast-paced bottle-filling operation, where she remained for nine years.

She then applied for a contract worker position at the DOT Rest Area contract and has worked there for the past four years. Victoria is part of Access’ snow team and has learned to use snow blowers and shovels, and has even spent the night on location, to ensure that the customer was getting the service they require when road conditions prohibit travel.

NYS Senator John J. Bonacic (R/C/I-Mt. Hope) said: “I would like to extend my congratulations and thanks to the entire staff and membership –– past and present –– of NYSID on its 40th anniversary. NYSID has been doing excellent work advocating for individuals with disabilities throughout the state. Nothing raises self-esteem more than doing meaningful work, and being a welcome part of the community. NYSID has done an outstanding job ensuring our family members with disabilities are not forgotten.”

Congratulations to Victoria and thanks to our member agencies and corporate partners in Orange County for helping us celebrate “40 Years of Looking Forward.” Keep an eye out for your member agency or corporate partner in the weeks and months ahead, as we highlight NYSID Preferred Source job creation –– county by county –– across New York State!
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April is National Autism Awareness Month (NAAM15), when we honor the contributions of individuals with autism to the social and economic well-being of our communities, our state and our nation.

Since the 1970s, the U.S. has recognized April as a special opportunity to educate the public about autism and issues within the autism community. Today, autism prevalence is now one in every 68 children in America and affects more than 1.5 million people nationwide, according to The Autism Society of America, the nation’s leading grassroots autism organization celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

Brent Matthew Lillard, a graphic designer with The Nicholas Center for Autism/Spectrum Designs Foundation in Port Washington, is a talented young man who overcomes the challenges presented by Asperger’s syndrome.

He was a deserving co-recipient of the 2014 William B. Joslin Outstanding Performance Award, NYSID’s most prestigious people-centered award. View a short video profiling Brent and his outstanding work. https://youtu.be/h62pX_Uks_U

Join NYSID and the Autism Society by participating in NAAM15. Here’s how:

#AutismUniquelyYOU – High Five for Autism. #AutismUniquelyYOU is a social media campaign that raises autism awareness and highlights the diversity and richness of the autism community. It’s a simple concept: hand painting for a cause and raising autism awareness. The campaign encourages people to paint their hands, make a video or take a picture of a unique product, share it on social media, and urge others to do the same.

Put on the Puzzle. The Autism Awareness Puzzle Ribbon is the most recognized symbol of the autism community in the world. Show your support for people with autism by wearing the Autism Awareness Puzzle Ribbon –– as a pin on your shirt, a magnet on your car, a badge on your blog, or even your Facebook profile picture –– and educate others on the potential of people with autism.

Get involved: Discover local events. Nationwide, more than 100 Autism Society chapters hold a number of special events in their communities throughout April.

Find information: The Autism Society reaches thousands of families each day with information and referral services through Autism Source, a comprehensive resource database and call center. Connect with information http://www.autismsource.org/ and referral specialists or call 1-800-3-AUTISM.

Thanks to our member agencies and corporate partners for promoting awareness and acceptance during National Autism Awareness Month, and for your continued support throughout the year.
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Veterans’ Summit Addresses Education, Careers, Economic Impact

New York State Industries for the Disabled, Inc. recently hosted its quarterly Veterans’ Summit, featuring presentations on education and career opportunities for veterans, and the economic impact of the military on the Capital Region.

“NYSID conducts its quarterly Veterans’ Summits to provide an in-person clearinghouse for individuals and organizations supporting veterans with disabilities in New York State,” said Ron Romano, NYSID president & CEO. “Through this information exchange, we foster collaboration and networking and advance the cause of identifying jobs for veterans with disabilities, particularly as the number of returning veterans with disabilities increases.”

Among those in attendance were:

NYS Assemblyman Michael DenDekker, D-34, new chairman to the Assembly Committee on Veterans’ Affairs

David Lombardo, representative of NYS Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, D-111, member of the Assembly Committee on Veterans’ Affairs

Kenneth Williams, director, Division of Service Disabled Veterans’ Business Development, New York State Office of General Services

Todd Rosenfield, project manager, New York State Division of Veterans’ Affairs

Presenters included:

Judy Reed, director of Veteran Services and Outreach, Excelsior College. Reed is Excelsior’s expert in education outreach to veteran audiences and leads development of strategic partnerships with organizations serving veterans and members of the U.S. Armed Forces. Reed is an instructor in Excelsior’s award-winning online course, Success Strategies for Military and Veterans, and designed its Online Veterans’ Center, which connects those affiliated with the military community about education, career and life.

Amy Amoroso, NYS program coordinator for Veteran Business Outreach, Veteran Business Outreach Center. Amoroso provides military veterans and their spouses with business consulting services though the Center, a program of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at the University at Albany. The program works closely with lending institutions and local venture capital firms to help small businesses access capital, and counsels more than 1,000 entrepreneurs annually.

Ray Gagnon, steering committee chairman, Unified Military Affairs Council (UMAC), a program of the Chamber of Schenectady County. UMAC’s mission is to highlight the importance of the military presence in the Capital Region. Its top priority is to ensure the long-term viability and success of Stratton Air National Guard Base and the Navy Operation Support Center in Glenville, as well as other military units in the Capital Region that have a profound effect on our local economy.

“It was a pleasure to attend the NYSID Veterans’ Summit. The networking opportunity with those from other veteran support services organizations, Assemblymen and other college representatives was valuable and enlightening. I was privileged to speak in front of such a dedicated group of people who were there to support veterans and our military in the Capital Region,” Reed said.

For more information on NYSID’s Veterans’ Initiatives, visit: http://www.nysid.org/Veterans.cfm. As always, we salute our veterans for their patriotism and valor.
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CWI Video Highlights Job Choices for New Yorkers With Disabilities

Community, Work & Independence, Inc. (CWI) recently featured Patricia Reed, its 2014 Joslin Outstanding Performer, in a video modeled after its slogan, “Enriching lives one story at a time.”

In the video, Patty is shown working on bathroom tissue at North Country Ventures, a division of CWI that employs up to 60 individuals with disabilities in a supported and sheltered manufacturing environment.

The video speaks to the importance of recognition for a job well done and is also a great testimonial to the importance of the choice of facility employment for New Yorkers with disabilities.

An outgoing, personable and friendly individual who considers her job an extension of herself, Patty demonstrates a predisposition to excel and to go above and beyond in her work performance at North Country Ventures.

Without her job, Patty says that she would feel lost and have no purpose. Without Patty, CWI’s North Country Ventures team would be without a most caring, hardworking and conscientious employee.

A link to the entire video recently appeared in the inaugural edition of CWI’s e-newsletter.

NYSID’s 2015 Joslin Awards Program will be announced soon. Thank you, Patty, for epitomizing outstanding performance in Preferred Source employment!

NYSID celebrates National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month this month and recognizes the contributions of individuals with disabilities to the social and economic well-being of our communities, our state and our nation.

“Reveal the Faces of Intellectual and Developmental Disability” is the 2015 theme, encouraging everyone to raise awareness about people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) by personalizing the narrative.

This is the perfect time to raise awareness and promote inclusion by updating your organization’s status on social media with examples of inclusive programs and services available in your community, using #DDAware.

Thanks to our member agencies and corporate partners for your continued support during National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month and throughout the year.
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NYS Senator Robert Ortt (R/C/I–North Tonawanda) recently sent a letter to Kerry Delaney, acting commissioner of the NYS Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) in support of New Yorkers with disabilities, and work centers in his Senate District.

Senator Ortt, chairman of the NYS Senate Committee on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities, is urging Governor Andrew Cuomo and OPWDD to protect the work centers from closure.

“As someone who fought overseas to defend our freedoms, I’m urging OPWDD and the governor to allow those in the disability community to keep their voices and their freedoms,” Senator Ortt’s letter reads, in part. “We need to protect the employment and lifestyle opportunities that sheltered workshops provide for individuals with disabilities. Together, we can make this happen.”

The full text of the letter appeared March 30 in the Niagara Gazette, as part of National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month.

NYSID is grateful to Senator Ortt for his support of New Yorkers with disabilities, and work centers in his district and across New York State. NYSID’s network of member agencies and private sector partners has worked together for this common purpose over decades of Preferred Source employment opportunities.

In February, Ron Romano, NYSID president & CEO, presented testimony before the Employment First Commission, tasked with creating an Employment First policy for New York.

The initiative aims to increase the employment rate, and decrease the poverty rate, for New Yorkers who are receiving services from the State, as well as register 100 businesses as having formal policies to hire people with disabilities as part of their workforce strategy.
NYS Senator Robert Ortt (R/C/I�North Tonawanda) recently sent a letter to Kerry Delaney, acting commissioner of the NYS Office for People
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NYSID is grateful to our Congressional, New York State and county legislators for sending their congratulatory wishes as we celebrate “40 Years of Looking Forward.” Here are some of the complimentary words we’ve received thus far.

Congressman Paul D. Tonko (D-20), NYSID’s 2014 Preferred Source Champion Award co-recipient: “Congratulations to New York State Industries for the Disabled, Inc. on 40 years of advocacy to advance employment opportunities for New Yorkers with disabilities. Your work has a tremendous impact on individuals and families across New York State. During my personal visits to your worksites, I have met dozens of committed employees who could not wait to share the joy of their assignment with me. Each one understood the value and dignity of the work that they were doing –– and wanted nothing more than to continue that work with their co-workers and friends. In an era when our society gets too preoccupied with individual accomplishment or short-sighted successes, be they in Wall Street, sports or even politics, it is refreshing to know that these employees and worksites exist and that organizations like New York State Industries for the Disabled are there to support them. My best wishes for another 40 years of sharing and success.”

NYS Senator George Amedore (R/C/I-Rotterdam): “NYSID does great work pairing New Yorkers with disabilities with employers who are in need of workers. Not only are their efforts helping our local economies, they are making a positive impact on so many workers with disabilities. I congratulate NYSID on 40 years of great service, with many more to come.”

NYS Senator James L. Seward (R-Oneonta), NYSID’s 2014 Preferred Source Champion Award co-recipient: “NYSID is a remarkable organization that positively transforms lives on a daily basis. The individuals with disabilities employed through NYSID are left with a sense of pride and self-worth that is immeasurable. I have had the pleasure to meet many of these success stories and have been truly overwhelmed. My congratulations to NYSID on 40 momentous years. I look forward to our continued partnership and your unwavering success.”

NYS Senator David Valesky (D/IP-53-Oneida): “Congratulations to NYSID on 40 years of service to New Yorkers with disabilities. I am impressed by the number of workers and the employment hours contributed through NYSID to the local workforce. The organization provides a valuable service not just to workers with disabilities, but to our local economy in job fulfillment as well.”

NYS Senator Catharine M. Young (R/I/C-Olean): “For 15 years, prior to becoming a state legislator, I had the privilege of working for The ReHabilitation Center in Cattaraugus County, a NYSID member agency. During my time there, I witnessed compassion every day, in ways great and small. It is an experience that I hold close to my heart, and it serves as an important reminder of the vital work that is conducted every day by New Yorkers with disabilities throughout our communities. People with disabilities want what everyone wants –– the opportunity to work and earn a paycheck. NYSID and its member agencies in my NYS Senate District have been truly instrumental in helping our local residents with disabilities fulfill their desire to work and be productive members of society. Congratulations to NYSID and its members on a successful 40 years.”

NYS Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi (D-Utica): “New York State Industries for the Disabled is a great example of a partnership between businesses, member agencies, and workers with disabilities that provides many benefits to participants. Hundreds of people in the Utica-Rome area learned valuable employment skills this year which help them to remain independent, and participating companies received quality goods and services at a very reasonable price. Best wishes to everyone who is a part of NYSID on its 40th anniversary.”

Assemblyman Richard N. Gottfried, (D/WFP-New York), chair of the Assembly Committee on Health: “I’m glad to wish NYSID a happy 40th anniversary. I’m proud to have them providing jobs and support programs to people with disabilities in my district and across the state, and I’m especially proud of William Joslin Award Co-Recipient Edwardo Lopez for his work with the Metropolitan Transit Authority.”

NYS Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R/C/I-Batavia): “I am proud to have supported New York State Industries for the Disabled, Inc. During my time in the Assembly, I have fought to provide meaningful employment opportunities for those with disabilities and I know that they can make substantial contributions to the public and private sectors. The thousands of individuals that find employment through NYSID annually and their extensive networking capabilities make them an impressive organization and one that deserves the Legislature’s utmost attention. I commemorate NYSID’s 40th Anniversary and wish them success in the years ahead.”

NYS Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara (D-Rotterdam): “NYSID has a long and important history of creating employment opportunities for New Yorkers with disabilities and I’m proud to support their mission. Each year, hundreds of people in the Capital Region are able to know the responsibility of a job and the pride of earning a paycheck because of NYSID and its partners. I congratulate them on 40 years of public service and look forward to a continued partnership for many years to come.”

NYS Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel (D/WFP/I-Great Neck): “For 40 years, NYSID has provided employment opportunities for the disabled –– helping individuals to reach their potential, contribute to their communities, and pay taxes!”

Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks: “Monroe County is fortunate to have partners like New York State Industries for the Disabled, Inc. that help create local jobs and opportunity. Thanks to Monroe County’s partnership with NYSID, we are now doing even more to make Monroe County a place where everyone can reach their highest potential and attain job training and skills, no matter their individual circumstances.”

NYSID continues recognizing our member agencies and corporate partners, county by county, to demonstrate their human service support and economic impact within communities across New York State as part of our 40th anniversary celebration.

Keep an eye out for your organization on our social media and blog, as we highlight NYSID Preferred Source job creation across New York State –– and thanks for helping us celebrate “40 Years of Looking Forward.” We couldn’t have done it without YOU!
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NYSID Receives Kudos from Congress, NYS Legislature

NYSID is honored to share congratulatory wishes from a U.S. Congressman, a New York State Senator and a New York State Assemblyman as we continue to celebrate our 40th anniversary, county by county, across New York State.

Thanks to Congressman Paul D. Tonko (D-20), NYS Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara (D-Rotterdam) and NYS Senator George Amedore (R/C/I-Rotterdam) for their compliments as NYSID marks “40 Years of Looking Forward.”

In Montgomery County, 114 New Yorkers with disabilities worked 56,951 employment hours on Preferred Source contracts in 2014. Thanks to Liberty, the Montgomery County Chapter NYSARC, Inc. for its job creation efforts.

Congressman Tonko said: “Congratulations to New York Industries for the Disabled, Inc. on 40 years of advocacy to advance employment opportunities for New Yorkers with disabilities. Your work has a tremendous impact on individuals and families across New York State. During my personal visits to your worksites, I have met dozens of committed employees who could not wait to share the joy of their assignment with me. Each one understood the value and dignity of the work that they were doing –– and wanted nothing more than to continue that work with their co-workers and friends.

“In an era when our society gets too preoccupied with individual accomplishment or short-sighted successes, be they in Wall Street, sports or even politics, it is refreshing to know that these employees and worksites exist and that organizations like New York Industries for the Disabled are there to support them. My best wishes for another 40 years of sharing and success.”

Congressman Tonko was NYSID’s 2014 Preferred Source Champion Award co-recipient. His efforts as a NYS Assemblyman were critical to the Preferred Source Law becoming permanent in New York State. NYSID remains forever grateful to Congressman Tonko for his ongoing support of job opportunities for New Yorkers with disabilities.

Assemblyman Santabarbara said: “NYSID has a long and important history of creating employment opportunities for New Yorkers with disabilities and I’m proud to support their mission. Each year, hundreds of people in the Capital Region are able to know the responsibility of a job and the pride of earning a paycheck because of NYSID and its partners. I congratulate them on 40 years of public service and look forward to a continued partnership for many years to come.”

Senator Amedore said: “NYSID does great work pairing New Yorkers with disabilities with employers who are in need of workers. Not only are their efforts helping our local economies, they are making a positive impact on so many workers with disabilities. I congratulate NYSID on 40 years of great service, with many more to come.”

Bridget Bailey is one of 59 Joslin Outstanding Performers nominated by NYSID member agencies and corporate partners in 2014. She has worked in Liberty’s subassembly area since May 2011, where GOJO and Purell products are produced for food service, healthcare and hospitality customers. Her duties include labeling the Purell Liquid pump bottles and individually wrapped hand sanitizers. Bridget makes sure that the boxes/bottles are labeled correctly, and she checks each completed box to ensure that the order has been completed correctly by the assemblers.

NYSID acknowledges our member agencies and corporate partners for creating meaningful employment for New Yorkers with disabilities throughout our 40-year history. We couldn’t have done it without YOU!

Keep an eye out for your member agency or corporate partner in the weeks and months ahead, as we highlight NYSID Preferred Source job creation across New York State.
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“Reveal the Faces of Intellectual and Developmental Disability”

NYSID celebrates National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in March and recognizes the contributions of individuals with disabilities to the social and economic well-being of our communities, our state and our nation.

NYSID celebrates National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in March and recognizes the contributions of individuals with disabilities to the social and economic well-being of our communities, our state and our nation.

“Reveal the Faces of Intellectual and Developmental Disability” is the 2015 theme, encouraging everyone to raise awareness about people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) by personalizing the narrative.

This is the perfect time to raise awareness and promote inclusion by updating your organization’s status on social media with examples of inclusive programs and services available in your community, using #DDAware.

“For 40 years, NYSID has been turning business opportunities into jobs for New Yorkers with intellectual and developmental disabilities across New York State,” said Ron Romano, president & CEO. “These individuals provide incredible examples of how much New York State benefits by having a workforce that is inclusive of persons with disabilities, particularly as NYSID celebrates ’40 Years of Looking Forward’ during this anniversary year.

“With nearly 7,000 lives touched in 2014 alone, NYSID Preferred Source employment opportunities are career pathways for New Yorkers with disabilities. These opportunities have evolved over time into life-changing experiences and financial security for New Yorkers, supporting government procurement needs and energizing communities.”

Our 2014 Annual Report highlights the work of NYSID and our local-based member agencies and private sector business partners in creating jobs for New Yorkers with disabilities.

In 2014, NYSID Preferred Source contracts statewide accounted for:

6,819 jobs created
4,045,516 employment hours
$55.3 million in wages

As NYSID continues its 40th anniversary celebration, we acknowledge our member agencies and corporate partners for creating meaningful employment for New Yorkers with disabilities throughout our 40-year history.

NYSID is highlighting these organizations, county by county, to demonstrate their human service support and economic impact within communities across New York State.

Follow NYSID via social media and our blog, and keep an eye out for your organization as we highlight NYSID Preferred Source job creation across New York State in the coming weeks and months.

Thanks to our member agencies and corporate partners for your continued support during National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month and throughout the year.
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Legislators Congratulate NYSID for 40 Years of Looking Forward

NYSID is grateful to our Congressional, New York State and county legislators for sending their congratulatory wishes as we continue our 40th anniversary celebration. Here are some of the complimentary words we’ve received thus far:

Congressman Chris Gibson (NY-19), Battle Buddy Center supporter: “NYSID provides invaluable guidance and support to organizations across our region, and I am delighted to recognize their four decades of good work. My staff and I deeply appreciate NYSID’s advocacy on behalf of people with disabilities, including our wounded warriors. These partnerships strengthen our communities and empower people to realize their full potential.”

NYS Senator John Bonacic (R/C/I-Mt. Hope): “I would like to extend my congratulations and thanks to the entire staff and membership –– past and present –– of NYSID on its 40th anniversary. NYSID has been doing excellent work advocating for individuals with disabilities throughout the state. Nothing raises self-esteem more than doing meaningful work, and being a welcome part of the community. NYSID has done an outstanding job ensuring our family members with disabilities are not forgotten.”

NYS Senator Hugh Farley (R/C/I-Schenectady): “I am pleased to congratulate New York State Industries for the Disabled on its 40th anniversary. As a long-time supporter of NYSID, I am well aware of the important and valuable work that you do in the community. Your organization has had a very positive impact on the lives of persons with disabilities. In addition, your efforts have helped employers and the public recognize and appreciate the skills and abilities of persons with disabilities. Again, congratulations on this anniversary and best wishes for continued success in the future.”

NYS Senator Patrick Gallivan (R-Elma): “The positive impact NYSID has had on the lives of New Yorkers with disabilities is enormous. Throughout Erie, Livingston, Monroe and Wyoming counties, NYSID has helped provide meaningful employment and career opportunities for hundreds of people. Congratulations on your 40th anniversary and I wish you continued success.”

NYS Senator Betty Little (R/C/I-Queensbury): “Having a job provides a purpose, giving people a reason to get up and get going and a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day. It has been my pleasure to support the work of NYSID and I congratulate them on 40 years of helping New Yorkers with disabilities find employment. Each and every day, they make a difference in the lives of people who need and deserve assistance. This wonderful partnership changes lives for the better and strengthens our communities.”

NYS Senator Kathy Marchione (R/C/I-Halfmoon): “For 40 years, New York State Industries for the Disabled, Inc. has been a faithful advocate in advancing employment opportunities for people with disabilities. NYSID is a shining example of what is possible when we invest in, empower and realize the potential and promise of all New Yorkers. Congratulations to NYSID on its 40th anniversary –– and best wishes for another 40 years of dedicated service to championing the cause of some of the very best among New York’s workforce.”

NYS Senator James Seward (R-Oneonta), NYSID’s 2014 Preferred Source Champion Award co-recipient: “NYSID is a remarkable organization that positively transforms lives on a daily basis. The individuals with disabilities employed through NYSID are left with a sense of pride and self-worth that is immeasurable. I have had the pleasure to meet many of these success stories and have been truly overwhelmed. My congratulations to NYSID on 40 momentous years. I look forward to our continued partnership and your unwavering success.”

NYS Assemblyman Clifford Crouch (R-Bainbridge): “I would like to congratulate NYSID on their 40th anniversary, and would also like to thank them for their tireless efforts to promote job creation within my district, as well as their hard work and collaboration with The Arc of Delaware County/Resources for Industry. The important work these organizations do to help New Yorkers with disabilities find employment highlights the true impact members of our communities can have on one another. Every year, my office is a sponsor of the Broome-Tioga DisAbility Awareness Committee’s Disability Mentoring Day, where a high school student spends time working in my district office to understand how the constituent outreach aspect of our state government operates. These student experiences show the great work that they are capable of producing and often lead to employment opportunities at organizations or businesses within the area. NYSID provides similar good work across the state, and I am proud to congratulate them on such a significant milestone.”

Over the next several months, NYSID will continue recognizing our member agencies and corporate partners, county by county, to demonstrate your human service support and economic impact within communities across New York State.

Keep an eye out for your organization on our social media and blog, as we highlight NYSID Preferred Source job creation across New York State –– and thanks for helping us celebrate “40 Years of Looking Forward.” We couldn’t have done it without YOU!
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NYSID Speaks Before Governor’s Employment First Commission

Ron Romano, NYSID president & CEO, presented testimony before the Employment First Commission on February 19 at the University of Albany’s School of Public Health in Rensselaer.

NYSID is grateful to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the Employment First Commission for the opportunity to offer its insight. Our network of member agencies and private sector partners has worked together for this common purpose over decades of Preferred Source employment opportunities.

“NYSID and its member agencies have always subscribed to the need to provide individuals with significant disabilities access to jobs that pay the highest possible wage in the most integrated setting appropriate, consistent with an individual’s strengths, needs, abilities and capabilities, and of their choosing,” Romano said. “What this means to us is pursuing an array of approaches for enhancing employment opportunities for persons with significant disabilities.

“The presumed, priority option should be competitive, integrated employment. The full spectrum of approaches must also include however, other paid work opportunities, especially when the economy, labor market and employers’ job requirements produce conditions that reduce the likelihood of workers with disabilities acquiring and maintaining competitive integrated employment at minimum wage or higher. Section 14 (c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act provides additional options, and must remain a viable opportunity for people who need and choose center-based employment at wages provided under the Act so they too can have a job and earn a paycheck.”

Read the testimony Ron Romano provided during the Employment First Commission hearing, or the entire report he submitted to the Employment First Commission. The hearing had originally been scheduled for February 2 but was postponed due to weather.

Last September, Governor Cuomo signed Executive Order 136 to establish the Employment First Commission, tasked with creating an Employment First policy for New York. The initiative aims to increase the employment rate, and decrease the poverty rate, for New Yorkers who are receiving services from the State, as well as register 100 businesses as having formal policies to hire people with disabilities as part of their workforce strategy.

View the Governor’s press release on the Employment First Commission and Executive Order 136.

The Commission is comprised of representatives from the Governor’s Office and New York State agencies and will build on Governor Cuomo’s comprehensive plan for reclaiming New York’s leadership role in serving people with disabilities.
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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."