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NYSID News Blog

August 26, 2015

Long-Time Member Agency Profile: The Arc Otsego

Category: General — NYSID @ 5:41 am

As NYSID continues its 40th anniversary celebration, we acknowledge some of our long-time member agencies for creating meaningful employment for New Yorkers with disabilities throughout our 40-year history.

Manda Mae Wright, who works on the NYSID briefs packaging line at The Arc Otsego’s Vocational Training Center, is the agency's 2015 Joslin Outstanding Performer

In recent weeks, we’ve highlighted these member agencies to demonstrate their human service support and economic impact within communities across New York State. We’ve looked back at their early days, updated their current success stories, and envisioned what the future holds.

Our final member agency is The Arc Otsego. Be sure to follow NYSID across our social media platforms for details on NYSID Works!, our Class of 2015 Joslin Outstanding Performers and our Annual Meeting.

NYSID: The slogan for our 40th anniversary is “40 Years of Looking Forward.” What are some of the ways in which your agency has been looking forward and continues to do so?

The Arc Otsego: Overall, The Arc Otsego remains committed to person-centered services and support. The agency is pursuing CQL accreditation and has a CQL certified Personal Outcomes assessor trainer and several certified assessors. It also received a BIP grant to create YouDirect, a training program for individuals with developmental disabilities in Otsego and Chenango counties to learn the skills necessary to direct their own services.

NYSID: When was your agency founded? How many people with disabilities were employed by your agency then and now?

The Arc Otsego: The Arc Otsego was founded in 1965. Currently, six individuals employed by the agency receive Supported Employment Services. In Otsego County, 38 New Yorkers with disabilities worked 29,895 employment hours on Preferred Source contracts in 2014.

Ron Romano (third from right), NYSID president & CEO, poses with The Arc Otsego's Joslin Outstanding Performers from previous years

NYSID: What jobs do people with disabilities still perform today, as they did years ago? What are some of the newer jobs for this workforce responding to marketplace and technology changes?

The Arc Otsego: Through Supported Employment Services, the agency continues to place individuals in retail stores, grocery stores, fast food locations, dining halls and restaurants, factories, health care facilities, warehouses, and transportation services.

Today, the agency tends to work more with big businesses rather than small, independently owned operations.

A light manufacturing facility now includes the addition of a recycling center that continues to grow. The workshop is exploring ways to expand the recycling business and seeking solutions to the changes that will happen as a result of changing state and federal policy. Among the products packaged by Preferred Source workers are adult disposable briefs, diapers, underpads, wash cloths and wet wipes.

The Arc Otsego is constantly looking for new jobs in the area through its Supported Employment. In recent years, the agency has found employment for individuals at several chain restaurants and department stores that have opened locally, and it continues to refine its marketing to area businesses.

NYSID: How important has your agency’s membership with NYSID been to your longevity and success?

The Arc Otsego: The Arc Otsego is open to change. We are willing to explore new areas and, most importantly, we seek to listen to what people want and need in their lives. NYSID has been an important source for employment opportunities, and support for and celebration of the accomplishments of individuals with developmental disabilities.

 

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