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January 12, 2018

Trainings Enhance Member Understanding of Application Process

Category: General — NYSID @ 7:00 pm

This past week, NYSID hosted trainings for its members in Albany, Utica and Buffalo on the new OGS price approval application process. FAST TRACK YOUR NYSID SERVICE APPLICATION gave members insight into the new forms and procedures required in the janitorial and imaging arenas.

NYSID executive staff, including Joe Messina, VP sales; Brian Schneider, VP contracts; and Meredith Hartman, senior sales manager, presented on a variety of topics, including: pro rating paid time off, prevailing wage information, backup information required, and more. The presentation was followed by an open forum discussion.

Follow-up from the trainings from the nearly 100 participants included comments such as “I now know what to itemize and include on my costs” and “It is good to know what OGS will accept.”

“Better training means more informed members which, in turn, leads to more job opportunities for people with disabilities,” Hartman said. “And that’s what it’s all about.”

For more information on this training or to receive copies of the training materials, please contact Heather Bushane, coordinator of NYSID’s technical assistance and quality management (TAQM) program, at hbushane@nysid.org or 518.694.0223.

Look for this and other member trainings in your area at http://www.nysid.org/tip.cfm.

January 3, 2018

Purchasing That Powered 2017 Employment!

Category: General — NYSID @ 5:58 pm

NYSID member agencies, corporate partners, customers, and other supporters made a big difference in 2017:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Help create even more job opportunities for New Yorkers with disabilities. Visit our “MAKE THE CHANGE” website and support legislation that puts people to work!

 

December 20, 2017

NYSID Employees Grant Wishes for Children With Disabilities and Their Families, in Keeping With Holiday Tradition

Category: General — NYSID @ 9:12 pm

Each year, NYSID employees generously help those less fortunate with our holiday giving project.

This year, aligning with our mission of “Advancing employment and other opportunities for individuals with disabilities,” NYSID employees “adopted” children from two local families who face the challenge of disability.

Kathleen Tricarick, NYSID insurance specialist (far right), delivers clothing and toys collected by NYSID staff for two local families referred by the Saratoga County Department of Adult and Family Services

NYSID employees were provided the names of the families by the Saratoga County Department of Adult and Family Services, through the Saratoga County Health Department.

This holiday season, NYSID employees supported five boys between the ages of 13 and 16, and three girls between the ages of 9 and 11 by purchasing items on their wish lists and delivering the gifts to the organization’s headquarters in Ballston Spa.

These items included such essentials as coats, boots, hats and gloves, and fun stuff, such as NFL gear, Transformers, toy dinosaurs and horses, and BB-8 from the “Star Wars” franchise.

The Saratoga County Department of Adult and Family Services assists all eligible county residents who seek assistance, providing such services as: adult protective services, information and referral preventive services for adults, housing assistance, medical transportation, home care, SSI assistance, family type homes for adults, and homemaker services.

“Each holiday season, NYSID employees give generously to those less fortunate, especially families impacted by disabilities,” said Ron Romano, NYSID president & CEO. “We truly enjoy spreading warmth and kindness to needy parents and children, and helping to make their holidays a little brighter.”

Happy Holidays to these boys and girls and their families!

December 19, 2017

A Look Back at the Names, Faces and NYSID Highlights of 2017

Category: General — NYSID @ 8:02 pm

Season’s greetings to all of our member agencies, corporate partners, friends and followers. In these final days of 2017, we’re reminiscing about some of the feel-good NYSID stories during the past year:

Annual Meeting/MAKE THE CHANGE — During our Annual Meeting at The Saratoga Hilton, more than 250 attendees proudly wearing campaign-style buttons encouraged legislators to MAKE THE CHANGE to Preferred Source legislation — a true display of solidarity and reaffirmation of our core purpose of “Purchasing That Powers Employment.”

Richard Warner, Allegany Arc, and John Humphrey, The Arc of Onondaga/Monarch Industries, each received NYSID's 2017 William B. Joslin Outstanding Performance Award

This proposed legislation can MAKE THE CHANGE in reducing a 70 percent unemployment rate for New Yorkers with Disabilities. Watch this video to learn more, and email your New York State legislators to show your support for employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

During our Annual Meeting, we also honored individuals employed on Preferred Source contracts, not-for-profits, legislators, New York State agencies and municipal agencies for their work to create jobs for New Yorkers with disabilities. View our 2017 Annual Meeting video playlist.

Battle Buddy Centers — NYSID dedicated two Battle Buddy Centers: SUNY Sullivan, in collaboration with SullivanArc/Sullivan Industries and New Hope Community, Inc.; and Dutchess Community College, with Access: Supports for Living. Since September 2011, NYSID’s 14 Battle Buddy Centers have collectively hosted more than 75,000 visits by veterans.

Commemorative Months — NYSID joined the disability movement in celebrating national commemorative months during the year, including: National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month (March); National Autism Awareness Month (April); Mental Health Month (May); and National Disability Employment Awareness Month (October).

City College of New York students and Celina Cavalluzzi of Goodwill Industries of Greater New York & Northern New Jersey, Inc. (third from left) pose with NYS Assemblymember Angelo Santabarbara during the CREATE Symposium

CREATE – Union College and Schenectady Arc were among a record eight colleges/universities and eight NYSID member agencies that participated in NYSID’s third annual CREATE (Cultivating Resources for Employment with Assistive TEchnology) Symposium in Albany.

Governmental Affairs — This was a banner year for advocacy, as Preferred Source workers from across New York State joined NYSID staff on visits to members of the US Senate and House of Representatives in Washington DC to advocate for choice in employment opportunities and service providers during New York Day on Capitol Hill.

At a “Town Hall” held in Albany during NY GovBuy in May, NYSID members from across the state called upon the New York State Office of General Services (OGS) to improve the price application approval process for Preferred Source contracts so as to provide continued employment for New Yorkers with disabilities.

During NDEAM, Ron Romano and Corey Heritage of NYSID and Fred Weber, Jr. of TIBH Industries, Inc. joined SUPRA and the Porter Group in our nation’s capital to advocate for jobs for individuals with disabilities.

Derrick McGuinness, Lexington-Chapter of NYSARC, Inc. (third from left), received his Joslin Outstanding Performer certificate and check -- one of dozens of recognition ceremonies across New York State

Joslin Awards – NYSID’s annual Joslin Awards Program celebrated exceptional job performance and personal growth by New Yorkers with disabilities working on NYSID Preferred Source contracts. In its 14th year, NYSID has awarded 17 individuals with the final William B. Joslin Outstanding Performance Award. John Humphrey, The Arc of Onondaga/Monarch Industries; and Richard Warner, Allegany Arc were named 2017 William B. Joslin Outstanding Performance Award co-recipients.

Since 2004, NYSID has recognized more than 700 Joslin Outstanding Performers, including 58 statewide in 2017: 21 Capital Region/Hudson Valley residents; 16 greater New York City and Long Island residents; 11 Central New Yorkers; and 10 Western New Yorkers. Visit our News Blog for lists of our 2017 Joslin Outstanding Performers by region.

Journey Along the Erie Canal — For the fifth consecutive year, John Robinson and Doug Hamlin led Journey Along the Erie Canal, a 370-mile, 12-day bicycle ride across upstate New York via the scenic and historic Erie Canalway Trail. NYSID was once again the proud video sponsor.

NYSID Night at “The Joe” — Our sixth annual NYSID Night at “The Joe” was a grand slam, as we were joined by folks from the Capital Region Miracle League, with whom we worked on NYSID WORKS! 2, and NYSID member agencies Catholic Charities, Northeast Career Planning, Rehabilitation Support Services, Saratoga Bridges, Schenectady Arc and The Arc of Rensselaer.

Volunteers from NYSID, SEFCU and Schenectady ARC, decked out in gold shirts provided by Spectrum Designs Foundation, pose for a photo during NYSID WORKS! 2

NYSID WORKS! 2 – Volunteers from NYSID, SEFCU, Schenectady ARC, Essex Arc/Mountain Lake Services and Puzzles Bakery & Café all participated in NYSID WORKS! 2, beautifying Jaime M. Adams Field, a ball field for individuals with disabilities, at The Capital Region Miracle League.

Veterans’ Summits — NYSID hosted its quarterly Veterans’ Summits for New York State government agencies, legislators, not-for-profits, veterans’ service organizations, institutions of higher learning, and rehabilitation organizations, including NYSID members. Summits 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.

Thanks for following NYSID on our blog and social media in 2017. We wish you a healthy and prosperous New Year!

December 15, 2017

Vets’ Summit Attendees Learn About “MAKE THE CHANGE,” Education and Housing This Holiday Season

Category: General — NYSID @ 3:30 pm

During NYSID’s Veterans’ Summit on December 13, Corey Heritage, NYSID’s senior manager, governmental affairs and business development, promoted NYSID’s “MAKE THE CHANGE” campaign to secure both ongoing employment and new opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

Pictured l-r: Corey Heritage, senior manager, governmental affairs and business development, NYSID; Cheryl Hage-Perez, executive director, Veterans & Community Housing Coalition (VCHV); and Jason Collins, veteran outreach coordinator, Office of Veteran and Military Education (OVME), SUNY Empire State College

NYSID has launched “MAKE THE CHANGE” to have important changes made to the Preferred Source law. Implementation of the changes would improve both existing and future employment opportunities for New Yorkers with disabilities, including veterans, without any fiscal impact on the State’s budget.

Heritage encouraged attendees to visit “MAKE THE CHANGE” and endorse NYSID’s letter to members of the New York State Legislature and Governor Cuomo, and share with their social network to help NYSID make a vast difference in the lives of so many. He also showed this video highlighting the campaign and its goal of reducing a 70 percent unemployment rate for New Yorkers with disabilities.

“Help us create momentum that will truly ‘MAKE THE CHANGE’ necessary to secure both ongoing employment and new opportunities for individuals with disabilities,” he said.

Summit presenters also included:

Jason Collins, veteran outreach coordinator, Office of Veteran and Military Education (OVME), SUNY Empire State College. OVME supports more than 1,200 service members, veterans and their family members with programs and services that assist their educational needs, wherever they are locally, nationally or abroad.

Cheryl Hage-Perez, executive director, Veterans & Community Housing Coalition (VCHC), which provides housing and support services to more than 200 homeless veterans and their families each year, including transitional and permanent supportive housing. Its VET HELP program to provide housing and support services to homeless veterans and their families has expanded to seven counties.

Dan Casale, director of constituent services for NYS Senator Kathleen Marchione (R-43), member of the NYS Senate Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs, attended the Summit.

The holiday season can be an emotional time for veterans and their families, which is why NYSID hosted its Veterans’ Summit to provide an opportunity for camaraderie, networking and mutual support. Attendees included New York State government agencies, not-for-profits, veterans’ service organizations, institutions of higher learning, and rehabilitation organizations, including NYSID members.

“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.”

November 21, 2017

NYSID Recognizes Rockland County as Local Customer of the Year

Category: General — NYSID @ 2:28 pm

For the past 16 years, Rockland County’s purchases of services and commodities on NYSID Preferred Source contracts have afforded work to individuals with disabilities from five NYSID member agencies and one corporate partner throughout New York State.

Paul Brennan (second from left), director of Rockland County's purchasing division, accepted the 2017 Local Customer of the Year Award on behalf of Rockland County Executive Ed Day

For this commitment to the Preferred Source Program, NYSID proudly presented its 2017 Local Customer of the Year Award to Rockland County on September 26 at The Saratoga Hilton.

In one example, NYSID member agency Jawonio performs cleaning services at the 14 buildings on the Rockland County Yeager Health Complex in Pomona. This NYSID Preferred Source contract employs 32 individuals with disabilities earning prevailing wages and supplemental benefits.

Two of these individuals, William Bradley and Samuel Fenner, attended the Annual Meeting with Paul Brennan, director of Rockland County’s purchasing division.

Rockland County continues to reach out to NYSID to meet its procurement needs and plans to expand its janitorial contract in the coming months, providing even more employment to individuals with disabilities.

November 13, 2017

NYSID Welcomes Dutchess CC to Battle Buddy Center Family

Category: General — NYSID @ 2:24 pm

In celebration of Veterans’ Day, NYSID dedicated its newest Battle Buddy Center on November 10 at Dutchess Community College, in collaboration with Access: Supports for Living.

Pictured l-r: Ron Romano, NYSID president & CEO; Congressman John Faso, (R-19); Pamela Edington, Ed.D., DCC president; Nelson Eddy Rivera, Dutchess County Department of Behavioral & Community Health director of Veterans' Services; and Stewart Dawes, DCC veterans resource coordinator

Among those who participated in the event:

Congressman John Faso, (R-19)

NYS Senator Sue Serino (R,C,IP-Hyde Park)

Representative of NYS Assemblymember Didi Barrett (D-Columbia, Dutchess)

Ron Romano, NYSID president & CEO; Paul Quirini, NYSID outreach & communications specialist; Andy Grosso and Jim Haggerty, NYSID veterans consultants

Pamela Edington, Ed.D., Dutchess Community College president; Stewart Dawes, Dutchess Community College veterans resource coordinator

Antoinette Elizondo, Access: Supports for Living vice president of industrial services

Nelson Eddy Rivera, Dutchess County Department of Behavioral & Community Health director of Veterans’ Services

Student veterans from Dutchess Community College

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.

Ron Romano, NYSID president & CEO, presents the Battle Buddy Center plaque to Pamela Edington, Ed.D., Dutchess Community College president

“NYSID provides livelihoods 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,” said Ron Romano, NYSID president & CEO. “Based upon the current veteran population and the anticipated growth of veterans’ programs and services, NYSID is pleased to partner with Dutchess Community College and Access: Supports for Living in this Battle Buddy Center.”

Through this Battle Buddy Center, NYSID and Dutchess Community College provide a space for 130 active duty students, veterans, their spouses and dependents to study, socialize with one another, and receive services they need. The space includes a study lab with computers, a lounge with a flat-screen TV, microwave, refrigerator and other amenities.

“NYSID’s Battle Buddy Center designation is a testament to the welcoming, supportive and inclusive environment created for veterans at Dutchess Community College (DCC),” said Pamela Edington, Ed.D., DCC president. “Like the one-week technical career training program IBM held for veterans this summer on campus, it reflects the value of partnerships and continues the important work being done at DCC to serve those who have served our country.”

“Access is proud to support veterans across our services and in our employment practices,” said Antoinette Elizondo, Access: Supports for Living vice president of industrial services.”Our mission compels us to help people in our communities live the healthiest and fullest lives possible. Partnering with NYSID and Dutchess Community College on the Battle Buddy Center supports that mission by providing our community’s veterans with a place to connect with each other and the services they need.”

Dutchess Community College marks NYSID’s 14th Battle Buddy Center location. Additional Battle Buddy Center locations include: SUNY Sullivan; LaGuardia Community College; John Jay College of Criminal Justice; Westchester Community College; Rockland Community College; SUNY Ulster; Columbia-Greene Community College; The College of Saint Rose; Hudson Valley Community College; SUNY Oswego; SUNY Canton; SUNY Adirondack; and Clear Path for Veterans.

NYSID’s Battle Buddy Centers have collectively hosted more than 70,000 visits by veterans since September 2011. Battle Buddy Centers are made possible through grant funding from NYSID and support from NYSID member agencies.

October 30, 2017

John Humphrey Embodies Joslin Outstanding Performance Award

Category: General — NYSID @ 12:46 pm

A veteran with disabilities, John Humphrey has overcome schizophrenia and homelessness to become the custodian through The Arc of Onondaga in Syracuse at the Westcott Day Habilitation Center, a state-operated site.

John received NYSID’s 2017 William B. Joslin Outstanding Performance Award during its Annual Meeting at The Saratoga Hilton on September 26.

Richard Warner, a production and assembly worker with Allegany Arc in Wellsville, was named NYSID’s 2017 William B. Joslin Outstanding Performance Award co-recipient. This was the fifth year in a row that NYSID recognized two William B. Joslin Outstanding Performance Award co-recipients.

John Humphrey proudly displays his 2017 William B. Joslin Outstanding Performance Award with Ayisha Crockrell, his immediate supervisor

As he has stated many times of the Westcott Day Habilitation Center, “the site is a reflection of me and what I do.”

John has his own place to live, pays his bills, and has money in the bank. Due to his disability, he does not drive a car, so a bicycle is his sole means of transportation to and from work, four to six miles each way. He has missed just one day of work in four years –- no small feat, considering how treacherous Syracuse winters can be.

“I like my job. It keeps me busy,” he said. “I use my job as a kind of therapy, because when I do things like mop the floors, I do it mindfully. And by doing that, I actually manage to cut back on my medications enough.”

As someone who cares about his community and is very civicminded, John recently started an online community through Meetup.com called “Better Onondaga County,” which now has 50 members who exchange ideas about how to make their community a better place to live.

John also was featured on Spectrum News Central NY and syracuse.com

NYSID’s annual Joslin Awards Program celebrates exceptional job performance and personal growth by New Yorkers with disabilities working on NYSID Preferred Source contracts. In its 14th year, NYSID’s Joslin Awards Program has recognized more than 700 Outstanding Performers, and awarded 17 of those individuals with the final William B. Joslin Outstanding Performance Award.

The awards are named for the late Bill Joslin, who was CEO of Human Technologies Corporation in Utica and served on NYSID’s Board of Directors for many years. His wife, Patrice Joslin, joined the Joslin Award co-recipients onstage.

Special thanks to John Craig from WNYT NewsChannel 13 for emceeing our signature event.

Thanks to everyone who attended our Annual Meeting, as we continue encouraging legislators to “MAKE THE CHANGE” and reaffirming our core purpose of “Purchasing That Powers Employment.”

October 25, 2017

Richard Warner Exemplifies Joslin Outstanding Performance Award

Category: General — NYSID @ 1:28 pm

Richard Warner enjoys the satisfaction of a hard day’s work with competitive wages and benefits and has built a strong, resilient identity that allows him to deal with the everyday challenges of life.

NYSID presented its 2017 William B. Joslin Outstanding Performance Award to Rich, a production and assembly worker with Allegany Arc in Wellsville, on September 26 during its Annual Meeting at The Saratoga Hilton.

John Humphrey, a custodian with The Arc of Onondaga in Syracuse, is NYSID’s 2017 William B. Joslin Outstanding Performance Award co-recipient. For the fifth year in a row. NYSID recognized two William B. Joslin Outstanding Performance Award co-recipients.

Richard Warner gladly shows his 2017 William B. Joslin Outstanding Performance Award, flanked by Chris Koehler, senior vice president of business operations, and Michael Damiano, CEO, Allegany Arc

Born with an intellectual disability in challenging circumstances, Rich works as an assembler at the PWI Witkowski Integrated work place. He also has worked in custodial services on New York State Department of Transportation contracts and as an assembler of New York State DNA Databank collection kits and other products.

He proudly shares an apartment with his twin brother and participates in area 5K races for his health.

“I am proud to pay my own bills,” he said. “My mother wanted me to get a job, help chip in the family. When I first heard [about receiving the Joslin Award], I was shocked. I said, who wants to pick me? I’ve never received an honor like this before.”

Rich also recently purchased his first car and is working on getting his driver’s license. His journey from welfare to employment and the quality of life he aspired to obtain validates the mission of the NYSID Preferred Source Program.

The Wellsville Daily Reporter recently featured Rich in this outstanding article.

The Joslin Awards are named for the late Bill Joslin, who was CEO of Human Technologies Corporation in Utica and served on NYSID’s Board of Directors for many years. His wife, Patrice Joslin, joined the Joslin Award co-recipients onstage.

NYSID’s annual Joslin Awards Program celebrates exceptional job performance and personal growth by New Yorkers with disabilities working on NYSID Preferred Source contracts. In its 14th year, the Joslin Awards have recognized more than 700 Outstanding Performers, and awarded 17 of those individuals with the final William B. Joslin Outstanding Performance Award.

Special thanks to John Craig from WNYT NewsChannel 13 for emceeing our signature event.

Thanks to everyone who attended our Annual Meeting, as we continue to encourage legislators to “MAKE THE CHANGE“ and reaffirm our core purpose of “Purchasing That Powers Employment.”

October 24, 2017

NYSID, Saint Rose Promote Battle Buddy Centers on Forum 13

Category: General — NYSID @ 12:41 pm

Shawn Sutton is an ideal representative for NYSID’s Battle Buddy Centers and a true success story for his fellow student veterans to emulate. A U.S. Marine who served in Afghanistan, Sutton graduated from Hudson Valley Community College and The College of Saint Rose and is pursuing his master’s degree in computer information systems at Saint Rose.

Pictured l-r: Phil Bayly (WNYT NewsChannel 13) interviews Paul Quirini (NYSID) and Shawn Sutton and Marty Dinan (The College of Saint Rose) during a recent edition of Forum 13, a community affairs program airing in the Capital Region

He credits NYSID’s Battle Buddy Centers at both schools with helping him focus on his studies, secure an internship and launch his career.

“When I first started taking advantage of the Battle Buddy Center at Hudson Valley and Saint Rose, I couldn’t imagine going to another school without a Battle Buddy Center,” he said.

Sutton recently appeared with Paul Quirini, NYSID’s outreach and communications specialist, and Marty Dinan, The College of Saint Rose’s director of veterans enrollment, on Forum 13 with host Phil Bayly to discuss NYSID’s Battle Buddy Centers.

Watch the Forum 13 interview.

Forum 13 is a community affairs program that airs in the Capital Region on WNYT NewsChannel 13 and WNYA My 4. The Forum 13 episode featuring NYSID and Saint Rose will air on Sunday, December  3 at 6 a.m. (WNYT) and 7 a.m. (WNYA).

Since 2011, NYSID has opened 13 Battle Buddy Centers, which have collectively hosted more than 70,000 visits by student veterans, including Saint Rose, NYSID’s first Battle Buddy Center at a private college that opened in 2015. The location represents collaboration among NYSID, Saint Rose and Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany, a NYSID member agency.

“The College of Saint Rose is a shining example of all that a NYSID Battle Buddy Center can be,” Quirini said. “Shawn Sutton is a true ambassador for the Battle Buddy Center concept, bringing it from a two-year college to a four-year college and reaching out to his fellow student veterans.”

The military concept of a “Battle Buddy” partners soldiers to assist each other both in and out of combat, and NYSID’s Battle Buddy Centers serve as safe havens for student veterans to study, socialize and receive services they need.

NYSID’s Battle Buddy Center at Saint Rose is the centerpiece for all veteran and veteran dependent students on campus. This semester, Saint Rose has more than 60 veterans enrolled in classes and approximately 132 dependents.

Dinan, a 1986 graduate of Saint Rose who served in the U.S. Army, U.S. Army Reserves and New York Army National Guard, praises NYSID for its support of the Battle Buddy Center at Saint Rose.

“The Battle Buddy Center has been a focus, not only on our campus, but in the community at large,” he said. “We couldn’t do that without the resources from NYSID.”

Learn more about NYSID’s Battle Buddy Centers on our website and Facebook page.

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