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NYSID News Blog

November 1, 2016

NYSID Takes to Airwaves, Calls for Urgent Support for More Jobs

Category: General — NYSID @ 6:48 pm

As National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) concluded, Ron Romano, NYSID president & CEO, urged the New York State Office of General Services (OGS) to expedite approval and renewal of Preferred Source contracts that create employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities statewide.

Romano spoke with host Liz Benjamin during a recent appearance on YNN’s Capital Tonight about the unemployment crisis among people with disabilities and the current climate and campaign for increased inclusion of people with disabilities into the workforce.

In Fiscal Year 2016, NYSID provided employment to 6,970 New Yorkers with disabilities on Preferred Source contracts, a workforce which has been stagnant the past five years.

Currently, there is a significant backlog of NYSID price applications awaiting OGS approval or renewal. Romano praised Governor Andrew Cuomo for his Employment First initiative, while urging OGS to address this backlog and the need for a more collaborative process among all stakeholders in support of increasing job opportunities for New Yorkers with disabilities.

“I’d like to applaud Governor Cuomo and his leadership on behalf of individuals with disabilities,” Romano said. “He’s trying to address this issue and has actually laid out a pretty ambitious agenda making New York State an Employment First state. We need a sense of urgency and commitment on the part of not only state government and the private sector, but all involved to work together, especially our oversight agencies, such as the New York State Office of General Services.”

View a video of Ron Romano’s entire 10-minute appearance on Capital Tonight.

In a subsequent e-mail to NYSID member agencies, Romano thanked them for their commitment to Preferred Source employment and expressed optimism for heightened collaboration with OGS to develop an effective, expedient process to put as many individuals to work as possible.

“NYSID members, elected officials and our customers understand that these contracts aren’t just words on paper. There are real life consequences to the delays we’ve been confronting,” he said. “As a result of all of our member agencies’ efforts, the Preferred Source Program has been one of the most successful mechanisms in addressing the unacceptably high unemployment rate among people with disabilities. I am hopeful that we will continue to have a dialogue with OGS and work in partnership to come up with a process that is acceptable to all involved but, most importantly, works to grow employment opportunities for New Yorkers with disabilities statewide.”


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