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Alex Craver's Speech on Wage Increases for Direct Support Profesionals at Southern Tier Rally.

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ACHIEVE on WBNG Action News

Check out ACHIEVE's very own Bob Brazill and Michael Friends on WBNG Action News talking about Savor the Summer!

CLICK HERE FOR THE STORY.

 

ACHIEVE Board and Foundation Welcome New Board Members

ACHIEVE held its Annual Membership Meeting on Friday, June 5th at the McKinley at Huron Campus and would like to recognize and congratulate the new slate of officers, and newly elected board members:

New Slate of Officers—
President: Ellen Feldman
1st Vice President: Dave Sebastianelli
2nd Vice President: Kelly Eurillo
Secretary: Nicki French
Treasurer: Daniel Ballard
Assistant Treasurer: Robert Salankiewicz
Board Members: David Alamo, Lisa Dolphin, Colleen Friends, James Hayes, Esq., Dorollo Nixon, Jr., Esq., Carolyn Nytch, Clark Giblin, Steven Campell, James Savage, Gary Shay, Kathy Sheehan, John Stevens, and Jamie Striley

Newly elected Board Members—

Stephen Campbell has his BA in History from Rutgers University where he played lacrosse for the Scarlet Knights. Mr. Campbell continued his education and earned his Masters in Education from Binghamton University. He is employed by Morgan Stanley and a graduate on the Broome Leadership Institute (BLI).  Steven lives in Vestal with his wife Stephanie and son Joshua.

Clark Giblin is a graduate of Golf Academy of South Carolina with an Associates Degree in Applied Business. Mr. Giblin is currently employed by Harding Brooks Insurance in Vestal. Clark previously worked as a golf professional at Binghamton Country Club and Vestal Country Club. He lives in Johnson City with his wife Jaime.

In addition, ACHIEVE would like to welcome Edgar Parsons III to the ACHIEVE Foundation Board of Directors. The ACHIEVE Foundation raises money to support special projects for ACHIEVE and an endowment – which provides long-term financial resources for the organization.

Edgar Parsons III graduated from St. Lawrence University and is currently a Relationship Manager for M&T Bank. He lives in Binghamton with his wife, Diane, and two daughters, Lauren and Kathryn. Edgar is the current Board Chair for the Broome County United Way and the current Board Chair for Family Planning of South Central New York. He brings more than 36 years of experience in the banking industry, as well as financial, investment, and community knowledge to the board.

Marcia and Edgar were voted in at the January 15, 2015 ACHIEVE Foundation Board Meeting held at ACHIEVE, 47 Riverside Drive in Johnson City, and began serving their terms at the April 16, 2015 Meeting.

 

Country Valley Industries Receives Frito Lay Award

Country Valley Industries (CVI), a subsidiary of ACHIEVE, is proud to announce that they are the recipient of the Frito-Lay “Quality Level of Excellence” Award for 2014! The award was presented to CVI in recognition of the near perfect year they had in quality control. The CVI Frito Lay Production Team shipped out 2.9 million bags of snack chips with only one error resulting in being one bag short in a package!

Frito-Lay presented the award to Country Valley Industries on Wednesday, March 4th at the annual Frito Lay Co-Packer conference held in Dallas, Texas. This is the second award that CVI has received in the past 5 years. In 2009 CVI was presented with the coveted Frito-Lay “Contract Manufacturing Quality” Award, granted once a year to the top performing re-packer for Frito-Lay who ranks the highest in Quality Control.

CVI Manufacturing Manager, Duwayne Caroway, states, “This is a very big accomplishment for the team at CVI – to ship out that many bags and only ship one wrong bag shows our consistent commitment to quality.”

Country Valley Industries operates four employment centers – in Binghamton, Johnson City, and Owego.  These centers offer a number of vocational opportunities for individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities through a number of contracts with community businesses.

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Pictured: CVI Frito Lay Production Team Members – Bruce Dumont, Jason Beck, Janet Shelton, Bob Fiala, Steven Tyler, Jackie Campbell, Norene Marean, Gordy Mosher, John Husnay, and Kristen Williams.

 

A Short Story

Robert Jackson Wescott, an individual who receives services from ACHIEVE, wrote a short story - Sly Cooper Part 0 Hank Randolph Dunmore that he dedicated to his mom, Jean Jackson. He wanted to share his story with everyone, so here you will find the unedited version of Robert's story for your reading pleasure!

Sly Cooper Part 0 Hank Randolph Dumore (The Short Story)

 

Help us Keep our Employment Centers Open

SIGN OUR PETITION

Dear Friends,

I am writing this to make you aware that once again, the programs and services for some of our most vulnerable citizens are on the chopping block.  This time, New York State is looking to take away an important vocational option for individuals that require greater structure, supervision and individualization for vocational and pre-vocational training due to funding cuts. 

We all strive for all people with developmental disabilities to live and work in the most inclusive and least restrictive environments. For many people with more severe and profound developmental disabilities, the prevocational, sheltered work environment is an important stepping stone to develop the skills that are needed for employment in the competitive work environment.  Without this type of program, many people with developmental disabilities will have nowhere to go and nothing to fill their days. These people will find themselves sitting in their homes, unproductive and without the services that they require. 

It is important to be able to have opportunities and funding to provide programs and services for all people with developmental disabilities so they can learn the skills necessary to be optimally successful in the workplace.  This includes programs and services for people with severe and profound disabilities that require a more structured environment to learn the skills necessary to enter their chosen work environment.
 
If this option is taken away, we need to ask WHERE DOES THAT LEAVE THE 8,000 INDIVIDUALS WHO CURRENTLY WORK IN EMPLOYMENT CENTERS THROUGHOUT NEW YORK STATE – yes, actual employment centers – not segregated sweat shops, the vision of which uninformed individuals have developed.
 
We were told that this transformation will cost the state MORE money.
 
You will hear that “options” are being developed to transform these individuals out of workshops – PathWay to Employment, Community Habilitation, Volunteerism – NONE of these options provide a consistent, long term paid position for the individuals we serve in our employment centers.  NONE of them provide the opportunity for some of the most challenged individuals to engage in a daily routine of getting up each day, traveling to work, engaging in constructive employment, socializing with friends, and MAKING A PAYCHECK, which makes the individuals we serve feel valued and INTEGRATED into the community.
 
There has been little consideration given to the economic impact closure of workshops would have on the hundreds of businesses across the state who provide contract work for these 8000 individuals.  There has been little, if any, viable opportunities developed to address transportation issues, safety issues, medical concerns or supervision issues related to supported or community employment.
 
We strongly recommend that legislative action be taken to PREVENT CLOSURES of SHELTERED WORKSHOPS.  Why create a more costly and ineffective system that uses more tax dollars to reap less benefit?  Before taking such a drastic action, we need to know what the bottom line savings are, and ask what will happen with the 4000 people they think will be left behind in the workshops that will no longer be funded, ask what the DEFINED plan is to support gainful employment for these individuals, and ask how the economy is going to recovery significantly enough to hire individuals with disability when the unemployment rate continues to be 10% and higher.

PLEASE HELP US TO SUPPORT THESE INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE HAPPY AND GAINFULLY EMPLOYED. 

SIGN OUR PETITION

Families are concerned that their adult children who have been happy and successful in the workshop and employment center setting will have nowhere to go and nothing to do if this important option is taken away. They are concerned that there will no longer be a safety net in place for those who attempt a less supported employment option but do not find success due to the intensity of their individual needs.  Family members and people who care about those with developmental disabilities understand that each person is unique, with specialized needs, strengths and desires.  They understand better than most that a "one-size-fits-all" approach to addressing these strengths, needs and desires will leave many of our loved ones with the most significant needs behind. Taking the option of sheltered employment away will leave many individuals and their families with no appropriate choices for employment opportunities. 

 

HOW YOU CAN HELP

1. Sign our Petition and share it with your friends through social media. Please share your comments and stories about how this will impact your loved one with a significant developmental disability in the space provided on the petition. If you have friends who do not use social media, please ask them to send their comments and stories to Nicole Leonard.

2. Contact our government officials (contact information below) in Albany and let them know you oppose the funding and program cuts to sheltered work environments. Let them know sheltered work environments should continue to be a choice for individuals and families with more significant disabilities. Let our government officials know that you care about our most vulnerable citizens, and believe with the appropriate supports, they too have much to offer their community.

 

Thank you for your support.
 
The ACHIEVE Advocacy Committee

 

Government Official Contact Information:

Senator Fred Akshar

District Mail -
44 Hawley St Rm 1607
Binghamton, NY 13901

 
Albany Mail - 

Room 805

 Legislative Office Building,

Albany , NY 12247

Phone: 518-455-2677
Fax: 518-426-6720


akshar@nysenate.gov


 
Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo
 
District Office -
Binghamton State Office Building
17th Floor
Binghamton, NY 13901
607-723-9047
 
Albany Office -
Room 626
Legislative Office Building
Albany, NY 12248
518-455-5431

LupardoD@assembly.state.ny.us

 
Assemblyman Clifford Crouch
 
District Office -
1 Kattelville Road
Suite 1
Binghamton, NY 13901
607-648-6080
 
Albany Office -
LOB 450
Albany, NY 12248
518-455-5741
 
CrouchC@assembly.state.ny.us
 
 
Assemblyman Christopher Friend
 
District Office -
476 Maple Street
P.O. Box 441
Big Flats, NY 14814
607-562-3602
 
Albany Office -
Room 938
Legislative Office Bldg.
Albany, NY 12248
518-455-4538
 
friendc@assembly.state.ny.us

 

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