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NYSID News Blog

March 24, 2014

NYSID Participates in Governor Cuomo’s Veterans Summit

Category: General — NYSID @ 2:07 pm

NYSID participated in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Veterans and Military Families Summit on Thursday, March 20 at the Empire State Plaza in Albany to continue the state’s work to support veterans and the military community.

Governor Cuomo is flanked by legislative leaders after signing the bill

Among those who attended from NYSID were: Ron Romano, president & CEO; Andy Grosso, VP/business development; Paul Quirini, outreach & communications specialist; and Jim Haggerty, veterans’ consultant.

Summit speakers included: Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy; Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos; Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver; Senator Greg Ball, chair of the Senate Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security & Military Affairs; Assemblyman Michael Benedetto, chair of the Assembly Committee on Veterans’ Affairs; Col. Eric Hesse, director of the New York State Division of Veterans’ Affairs; and RoAnn Destito, commissioner of the New York State Office of General Services.

During the Summit, legislative leaders signed a bill establishing a goal of awarding six percent of all NYS contracts to service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses. The legislation expands economic opportunity for veterans by ensuring that New York State is providing every occasion for them to participate fully and equitably in state contracting.

“This is a major policy and program, and it’s one of the simplest and shortest conversations I’ve had with the legislative leadership in my three years as Governor. We should do the right thing by the service-disabled veterans who have served this country, and this state will,” Governor Cuomo said.

NYSID supports Governor Cuomo’s commitment to ensure that New York is a national leader in providing the care and benefits which veterans and military families have earned.

“NYSID has been turning business opportunities into jobs for New Yorkers with disabilities for nearly 40 years,” said Ron Romano, NYSID president & CEO. “Our statewide network of 173 community rehabilitation agencies and private-sector business partners employs skilled veterans and civilians with disabilities in production facilities and community-based jobs which make connections to better lives. Our organization supports veterans’ initiatives, as well, and I believe there are opportunities for collaboration between NYSID and New York State in fulfillment of this shared mission.”

NYSID has conducted its own quarterly Disabled Veterans’ Summits since 2009; our next Veterans’ Summit will take place on Wednesday, April 30, from 9:30am – noon at our office at 11 Columbia Circle Drive in Albany. Veterans’ 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.

NYSID also supports Battle Buddy Centers, which are safe havens for veterans to socialize with their fellow veterans and receive services they need. Battle Buddy Centers are 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 have collectively hosted more than 3,000 visits by veterans since September 2011. NYSID has participated in the grand opening and dedication of five Battle Buddy Centers, including: Columbia-Greene Community College in Hudson; SUNY Ulster in Stone Ridge; Hudson Valley Community College in Troy; Fedcap Rehabilitation Services in New York City; and Clear Path for Veterans in Chittenango.


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