by Jennifer Lawrence, Manager, Corporate Communications, NYSID
New York State Industries for the Disabled, Inc. (NYSID) is a leading source of job opportunities for a dedicated and highly qualified workforce of New Yorkers with disabilities. For more than 40 years, NYSID has made rewarding employment possible to individuals with disability-related barriers, who typically experience the highest unemployment in the Empire State and across the country.
Through the New York State Preferred Source Program, NYSID provides business solutions for state and local government customers. We do this through a network of approximately 125 community non-profit rehabilitation agencies who often partner with private sector businesses, such as Xerox. Together, they employ New Yorkers with disabilities, including veterans returning to the workforce, on imaging, custodial and additional Preferred Source service contracts.
As a result, more than 7,000 New Yorkers with disabilities are annually employed and, in 2015, earned $60 million in wages. Moreover, these workers gained greater independence in their lives and communities and developed the self-worth that comes with having a job.
Preferred Source employment is best appreciated by its societal impact on individuals like Michelle Wolfe, who received NYSID’s highest recognition of employment excellence last year. Michelle was nominated by her employer, The Arc of Madison Cortland, for her work ethic, transformation to independence, role model example, and volunteerism. She received NYSID’s William B. Joslin Outstanding Performance Award at our Annual Meeting on September 30, 2015.
As a testament to the value of New York’s Preferred Source Program, Michelle stated: “I’m very proud and lucky to have two jobs. Whether it is in the workshop or in the community, working gives people with disabilities dignity and a paycheck.” View Michelle’s story.
Thousands of workers with disabilities like Michelle are succeeding in their employment dreams through NYSID opportunities, which include private sector partnerships. In 2014, ACHIEVE, a NYSID community rehabilitation member agency in Binghamton, partnered with Xerox to provide document imaging solutions to the NYS Workers’ Compensation Board. Eighty million digital images have been created to date, streamlining operations for this important customer. What’s more, 100 new jobs were made available to individuals with disabilities, building skill sets, reducing unemployment and energizing a local economy.
NYSID is proud that these examples of workforce development repeat from Buffalo to Long Island, wherever Preferred Source workers bring to life the adage that, “There is no substitute for hard work.”
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