NEW YORK (WWTI) – Governor Kathy Hochul announced that the NYS Office for People with Developmental Disabilities has awarded more than $13 million in grants to seven nonprofit service providers statewide.

This statewide award will fund career-specific vocational training opportunities for people with developmental disabilities over the next four years.

“Our state’s vibrant economy depends on the hard work and expertise of all New Yorkers, — People with developmental disabilities have the same desire and right to contribute to the workforce and to be self-sufficient. This funding will prepare people for success on the job and help employers fill vital vacancies.”

Governor Kathy Hochul

People with developmental disabilities traditionally have been under-represented in the workforce, these career training programs will help them gain the skills and experience needed to secure employment and close the unemployment gap for people with disabilities.  

“With this targeted training initiative, we advance our understanding of what is possible for New Yorkers with developmental disabilities. As we empower more people to work, we will demonstrate new, effective ways to support people and show the world the strength and success that results when employers fully embrace diversity and inclusion.”

New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities Commissioner Kerri Neifeld 

Grants have been awarded to the following service providers: 

Last year, 2022, Governor Hochul recognized the need to increase vocational training opportunities for people with developmental disabilities and provided funding for OPWDD to develop and deliver career-specific vocational training to prepare people to enter the workforce and enjoy fulfilling careers.   

This is in line with the Governor’s issuance of Executive Order 31 and the launch of the annual DREAM symposium and further builds on the state’s commitment to supporting people with disabilities to pursue employment.

The training developed and delivered through these grants is to be combined with community vocational experiences funded through OPWDD’s comprehensive Home and Community-Based Services Waiver. The training will develop an individual’s marketable skills so that they can meet the demands of today’s employers and lead to employment success. An increase of people with developmental disabilities will be able to bring their contributions to the workforce, ensuring stronger, more diverse and inclusive communities.