October 01, 2014

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce More Than $1.8 Million To Help New Yorkers With Disabilities Find And Retain Good Jobs

Funding Will Help The Viscardi Center In Nassau County Partner with Employers to Successfully Recruit and Retain Individuals with Disabilities

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $1,848,350 in federal funding for The Viscardi Center in Nassau County. The funding was allocated through the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Disability Employment Policy and will be used to help enhance recruitment procedures for individuals with disabilities. The Center will research policies related to the recruitment of individuals with disabilities and the implementation of outreach strategies, and will work with employers to foster the hiring and retention of workers with disabilities. The initial award is for a 12-month period of performance with the potential for four additional years, based on performance and availability of funds.

“We must make sure that individuals with disabilities have the opportunity to find and secure meaningful jobs and work to their full potential” said Senator Schumer.  “This federal investment will help develop policies to recruit and retain employees with disabilities and I am pleased the Department of Labor is providing this funding to The Viscardi Center so they can continue their terrific work.”

“Every American citizen deserves an opportunity to work in this country,” said Senator Gillibrand. “This investment in The Viscardi Center will support the hiring and retention of individuals with disabilities, so they can earn good jobs and keep them for years to come. This important initiative will help disabled New Yorkers reach their full potential.”

“In a time when there is heightened awareness of the need to drive a change in hiring practices to improve the labor force participation rate of people with disabilities, this Cooperative Agreement gives The Viscardi Center and its consortium partners the opportunity to share our extensive knowledge and expertise to support ODEP’s mission,” said John D. Kemp, President and CEO of The Viscardi Center. “Only by increasing employment opportunities, and providing companies with the resources they need to tap into this large pool of qualified professionals, will we reach our goal of getting every person with a disability who wants to work a job.”

The Viscardi Center is a network of non-profit organizations that provides a lifespan of services that educate, employ and empower people with disabilities. These services include Pre-K through High School education, school-to-work transition services, vocational training, career counseling and employment placement, assistive technology, adapted driver education and workforce diversification assistance for children, adolescents, and adults with disabilities and businesses.  The Viscardi Center will use this federal funding to operate a national employer technical assistance program, which is geared toward hiring, retaining, and advancing those with disabilities.