On September 17, 2015, New York State Industries for the Disabled, (NYSID,) and AHRC New York City‘s Employment Business Services department held an event at the Wyckoff Heights Medical Center in Brooklyn. The purpose of the event was to give back to the community and to say “thank you” for helping to employ people with disabilities.
Three new AHRC NYC employment programs: PROMISE, Project Search, and the Community Employment Specialist program each partner with NYSID to acquire contracts to employ people with disabilities. Some of the contracts AHRC NYC EBS currently has contracts with are the MTA, the Department of Labor, and the Fire Department of New York.
PROMISE, a pilot program, targets 14 to 16-year-old students receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Students with families receiving public assistance are sought out early and are helped to gain work experience that they wouldn’t otherwise receive. The students will hopefully be in a better position to work, and not dependent on SSI upon graduation. The program has been running for about a year. PROMISE is working to train school employees how to best support their students through their journey. PROMISE operates in all 5 boroughs, but the biggest groups of students are in the Bronx and Brooklyn. Schools are very much involved, as they recommend students that would be good for the program.
Project Search is an intensive vocational development program for students in their final year of high school. The students work at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx or at Wyckoff Medical Center, where they are trained, work, and receive support as they work to improve their lives. Participating students rotate through different departments in the hospital to see what they like best: X-ray, clerical, housekeeping, patient transport, and other areas. Experiencing multiple departments has been great for the students because many times they start out thinking they want to do one job and end up doing something different in the end. Project Search has helped students for about 2 years and continues to make a difference.
The Community Employment Specialist program trains staff members in schools to help people with disabilities through technology and trains them to help people transition from school to the workplace.
The Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, (OPWDD,) is strongly focused on programs that facilitate the employment of people with disabilities, with a major focus on transition. These new programs help to ensure that people with disabilities get the services they need so they can serve their communities and succeed in the workplace.