1 Unlocking Opportunities in New Jersey M A R C H 2014 Funding Needs Targeted ACCSES New Jersey is asking the State Legislature to provide an additional $5 million in funding for job programs for people with disabilities in Fiscal Year It is critical that our 39 statewide member organizations receive this help to continue providing jobs and other services to the state s most disadvantaged citizens and to prevent the staggeringly low labor force participation rate for people with disabilities from rising even higher. The most recent report shows that only 24 percent of workers with disabilities, nationwide, had jobs, compared to a 70.4 percent employment rate for the general population. The Association expressed appreciation for the Governor s proposed budget, which maintains the current funding level, but noted that the job programs had undergone devastating cuts several years ago, amounting to roughly the same $5 million figure. A start toward reversing the damage was made during the last three fiscal years when the funds were restored. However, that action did not generate additional dollars in the sense of new money. It merely reversed years of deep cuts and brought the funding approximately back to where it was in FY 2002, over 12 years ago, adjusting for inflation. The result is that our Work Centers for people with disabilities have barely had their cuts restored, and these job services are still being reimbursed at levels significantly below their costs. The Association proposes to use the additional $5 million mainly for Extended Employment (Work Center jobs) and Extended Employment transportation. A small portion may be needed for Long-Term Follow Along services. Part of this need is driven by the transfer of some 700 consumers from the Division of Developmental Disabilities in the Department of Human Services to the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services in the Department of Labor and Workforce Development. During testimony on the issue before the State Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, ACCSES NJ Chairperson Mark Boyd, who is CEO of Goodwill Industries of Southern New Jersey and Philadelphia, said: The issue of funding for these programs cannot be evaluated solely on the basis of the amount the State is spending for them because a substantial link exists between New Jersey s commitment to job programs for people with disabilities and the state s economy. More jobs for workers with disabilities translate into continued on page 3 CNA Job Growth Hits New Level CNA Services has continued its extraordinary record of job growth, with another 700 positions for people with disabilities created in 2013, bringing the program s job total to 6,577 at year s end. CNA is projecting that the number will rise to 7,500 by the close of According to the statistically valid study noted in the funding article above, the CNA jobs are generating an annual economic impact of close to $31million in taxes paid and reduced entitlements. That figure does not account for the curtailed use of expensive rehabilitation and/or correctional programs or the economic impact of the workers wages and buying power. CNA workers with disabilities earned some $9.8 million last year, at an average wage of about $11.50 an hour. Another recent study in New York showed that, apart from the taxes paid by program participants and entitlement payments saved, every dollar spent in that state s set-aside program resulted in an additional 91-cents being returned to local economies. Applying the same figure to our CNA set-aside program in New Jersey shows that $34 million would have been spent in local economies. Combined with the $31 million noted above, the CNA set-aside program is generating a total economic impact of $65 million annually for New Jersey. After completing a very successful year as the number-one component of both CNA employment and dollar volume of contracts, Janitorial Services is off to a very strong start in New janitorial work is underway with Princeton Township, the Mercer County Airport and the Mercer County Fire Training Center. ACCSES NJ/CNA Services Vice continued on page 4 IN THIS ISSUE P2 Chairperson s Message P4 SUPRA P5-8 Member News P8 Member Roster UPCOMING MEETINGS General Membership May 22, 2014 Executive & DVRS Liaison Committees May 8, 2014 Business Development Commission/CNA Committee June 5, 2014
2 2 Unlocking Opportunities in New Jersey CAPITAL VIEW is a publication of ACCSES New Jersey Nils Richardson President/CEO EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OFFICERS Mark Boyd Chairperson Peggy Englebert Past Chairperson Jack Doyle Treasurer Kathy Walsh Secretary STAFF Floyd Nesse Vice President ACCSES NJ-CNA Services Account Executives Chuck Kingsland Caryn Gaetano Kevin Regan Jim Yuill Joanne McKinley Georgette Januse David Czerniakowski Building Services Managers John Ganley John Faranda James Manton Customer Service Representative Shannon Monsees Office/Accounting Manager Donna Leyva Accounting Dept. Lori Natoli Samantha Steepy Kim Coligan Irina Zaitseva ACCSES New Jersey (Association for Choices in Community Supports and Employment Services) 150 West State Street Suite 120 Trenton, NJ Tel Fax Please direct comments and inquiries to: Nils Richardson, Publisher Walt Sodie, Editor M E S S A G E FROM THE CHAIRPERSON By Mark Boyd Our Association is beginning an effort to obtain additional state funding for job programs for people with disabilities. As detailed in the page 1 lead article, we are requesting that $5 million be added to the state budget for this purpose in the fiscal year that begins on July 1. I was pleased to present testimony to the State Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee on this issue, along with Andre Ennis, who has been employed as a participant in our job programs at Goodwill Industries of Southern New Jersey and Philadelphia for several years. Another consumer, Richard Mark Boyd Grant, from the Friendship House of North Jersey, joined President/CEO Nils Richardson for the Assembly testimony. It was very valuable for the committee members to hear from our consumers, who outlined how crucial the jobs are to them and their fellow individuals with disabilities. Their testimony provided the human element to our story and added great impact to what Nils and I told the legislators about the dire need for this funding. Besides the testimony from individuals who have benefitted from the job programs, our presentation was bolstered by the strong economic data we outlined. Study after study has shown that creating jobs for workers with disabilities stimulates local and state economies. We will now be moving to the phase of the funding endeavor that involves direct communication with legislative leaders, rank and file legislators and key staff. This is where our member organizations can play a prime role. We urge you to contact legislators in the areas you serve, particularly any of the legislative leaders with whom you may have close relationships. We must stress that our job programs bring economic benefits to New Jersey by providing services to people with disabilities, finding them work and keeping them in their jobs. The other page 1 article in this CAPITAL VIEW issue focuses on the continued job creation in our CNA Services state set-aside program. All who participate in this endeavor deserve our congratulations and support. As I have said before in this space, the CNA program is a great opportunity for our members and affiliates to grow their organizations while providing jobs for people with disabilities. Our marketing committee has chosen Maher & Mignella Advertising of Cherry Hill, which has experience communicating with the Association s target audiences, to conduct the messaging campaign that we will launch later this year. The focus will be on maintaining a full array of employment opportunities for people with disabilities. We will be communicating more information on the campaign in the near future. We are actively planning for the ACCSES New Jersey Annual Meeting and CNA Services Expo that will be held on Tuesday, September 23 at the Crown Plaza, Exit 8-A of the New Jersey Turnpike in Monroe Township. Last year s event was a huge success and we urge all of you to join us for 2014 edition. You will be receiving registration information over the next few months.
3 Section 503 Changes Take Effect The Final Rule that makes changes to the regulations implementing Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 took effect on March 24. Section 503 prohibits federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating in employment against individuals with disabilities (IWDs), and requires the affected employers to take affirmative action to recruit, hire, promote, and retain these individuals. The Final Rule strengthens the affirmative action provisions of the regulations to aid contractors in their efforts to recruit and hire IWDs and improve job opportunities for them. It also makes changes to the nondiscrimination provisions of the regulations to bring them into compliance with the ADA 3 Amendments Act of Among its primary provisions, the Final Rule establishes a nationwide 7 percent utilization goal for qualified IWDs. Contractors will apply the goal to each of their job groups or to their entire workforce if the contractor has 100 or fewer employees. Another provision requires contractors to conduct an annual utilization analysis and assessment of problem areas, and establish specific action-oriented programs to address any identified problems. They also must document and update annually several quantitative comparisons for the number of IWDs who apply for jobs and the number of IWDs they hire. Funding Continued from page 1 Richard Grant testifying at Assembly budget hearing as Jennifer Murrin looks on. ACCSES NJ Chairperson Mark Boyd (right) and Andre Ennis, presenting testimony at Senate hearing. economic growth for New Jersey because the State gains $4,745 in entitlements reduced and taxes paid for each person with a disability who is put to work, according to a statistically valid study completed in Joining Mr. Boyd for the Senate testimony was Andre Ennis, a Goodwill Industries program participant who told the panel how crucial the jobs are to him and his fellow workers with disabilities, enabling them to be productive and earn a much-needed paycheck. He said words are inadequate to fully express how much difference the experience at Goodwill has made in his life. Testimony to the Assembly Budget Committee was presented by ACCSES NJ President/CEO Nils Richardson and Richard Grant, a person with a disability who has been employed since 2008 in work programs provided by the Friendship House of North Jersey, another ACCSES NJ member organization. His jobs have included commercial kitchen work and janitorial services. One of the janitorial assignments, at a military base in Jersey City, pays him $15 an hour. Mr. Grant said: These opportunities enable me to handle new and better paying jobs and to live independently. I look forward to coming to work every day and I am grateful to the Friendship House for helping me make something of myself. I hope these successes set an example for others. In testimony not connected with ACCSES NJ, Joan Migton, a parent of an autistic daughter, urged the legislature to increase the funding. She said the Work Center her daughter attends offers individuals with disabilities a safe environment where they can develop work skills and be productive. When funds were slashed a few years ago, over 1,000 workers with disabilities lost their jobs, along with several hundred of the dedicated staff who served them. The damage extended well beyond our memberorganization Work Centers. Employers also felt the impact because the recruitment and, particularly, the retention services on which they had come to rely were withdrawn. Hundreds of jobs were lost in the Supported Employment program because two or three hours of critical retention services were no longer available to workers with severe disabilities. ACCSES NJ maintains that if New Jersey fails to provide additional funding for jobs for people with disabilities, the result will be higher costs to the state, not less. Funds for these jobs generate more revenue and avoid higher entitlement costs, yielding one of the most efficient uses of state dollars.
4 4 Unlocking Opportunities in New Jersey SUPRA Conference Nils Richardson (left) receives award from outgoing SUPRA President Ron Romano. Floyd Nesse delivers his inaugural speech as incoming SUPRA president. ACCSES New Jersey/CNA Services took a prominent role in this year s conference of the State Use Programs Association (SUPRA), held in San Antonio, Texas. In addition to our staff members participating in and leading workshops and break-out sessions, the agency s top two executives received high honors. Vice President Floyd Nesse was elected to serve as SUPRA president for and President/CEO Nils Richardson was presented with a special award for commitment to employment for people with disabilities through a State Use program (CNA Services). SUPRA s mission is to provide support to State Use Program management, to promote growth of State Use Programs nationwide, and to serve the common interests of its members in serving people with disabilities. CNA Services Continued from page 1 President Floyd Nesse said: These contracts are extremely important to the program as we establish a reputation among more cooperative purchasing entities. CNA Services janitorial work at Kean University is growing and will be expanding even more over the next few months. Work begun at the Green Lane Building in January will create another eight to ten jobs. A new Kean building is currently in the last stages of construction and will become CNA s responsibility to maintain when it s completed. Along with other potential additions, the expansion could mean as many as 20 new positions over the next year. CNA has made a breakthrough in a relatively new sector: The program has been awarded Total Facilities Management for the Trenton Office Complex and the Bank Street Garage. CNA sees Total Facilities Management as a potentially strong growth area. Building Trades Services also continues to grow, with the New Jersey Division of Military and Veterans Affairs and Kean University as the primary customers. Building Trades Services grew 107% for CNA in Temporary Employment is another strong CNA growth area, up approximately 61 percent in Most of the growth has come from the Trenton area, with the most prominent customer being the Katzenbach School.
5 Grants Enhance Employment Opportunities Agency Launches New Employment Program The Arc of Camden County has initiated a new program, Help One Get Hired, funded by an Innovation and Expansion Grant from the NJ Department of Labor, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. The program s guiding objectives are to grow Employment First in New Jersey and to improve transition services for people, in particular youth, with disabilities. The Arc will strengthen connections between businesses and individuals in order to highlight the capabilities and strengths of people with disabilities in the workforce. Since July 2013, the agency has reached out to 274 businesses, gained 63 participating partners and continually expanded the range of business types engaged. 5 The Arc of Camden County's Help One Get Hired Program with TD Bank Mentors. Specialized Training for Community Jobs Abilities of Northwest Jersey has received a $125,000 EmploymentFirst4Jersey grant from the State Department of Labor and Workforce Development that will create more opportunities for individuals with disabilities. The agency will use the funds to provide support and intense individualized training for people with disabilities to learn new skills that will help them obtain meaningful community employment. The program will focus on individual skill training in manufacturing/ distribution, retail and tourism, along with providing individualized job seeking skills, resume development and placement support services. "This grant will help connect people with disabilities with employers who can greatly benefit from their skills and experience, commented Sue Zukoski, Chief Development Officer at Abilities. We are kicking off several new skill training programs, including green electronic recycling and hydroponics, and also expanding our existing print services. Abilities anticipates serving 20 individuals within the grant year, with the ultimate outcome of placing them in competitive community employment. Individualized Case Management Allies staff ready to assist with career development (from left): Mary- Anne McMillan, Employment Counselor; Megan McCann, Employment Counselor; Sue Dion, Community Service Coordinator; and Beth Carey, Director of Vocational Services. Allies, Inc. received a $25,000 grant from the Kessler Foundation to increase employment and career opportunities for individuals with mobility and/or physical disabilities in New Jersey. Over the next twelve months Allies will implement the grant by providing individualized case management services for employed individuals who are seeking ongoing support to increase job stabilization. Case management services will include: Career Development options, access to Community Resources and connections to Support Services. Allies Employment Counselors will recruit, evaluate and select potential participants. Current and future career needs will be assessed and individualized goals will be established. Intensive case management services will gradually decrease as participants make progress toward increased independence. New Goodwill Program Prepares Job-Seekers for Work G oodwill Industries of Greater New York and Northern New Jersey received an EmploymentFirst grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to offer training and placement for individuals with disabilities who live in Northern New Jersey. The new program, Learn to Earn, places job-seekers in the hospitality, food service, retail, clerical and janitorial service sectors. Goodwill combines four steps to ensure that participants will succeed at work: Vocational evaluation, work readiness training, employer internships, and on-the-job coaching. The key to success of the program is that staff continues to support participants even after they find work.
6 6 Workplace Training for People with Autism Unlocking Opportunities in New Jersey Employment Horizons client using an ipod for additional support in the workplace. Employment Horizons has taken a significant step to address the underemployment and unemployment of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders with an Innovation and Expansion Grant from the NJ Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services. Through the development of customized supports matched to an individual s needs and abilities, the new program utilizes video-based training and prompting to enhance skills and workplace adaptation. The outcomes for clients include increased employment opportunities and job retention in integrated work settings. Employment Horizons is working with the Autism Spectrum Disorders population because they have experienced even greater employment challenges than other people with disabilities. The training devices allow job coaches to create videos or use applications to provide assistance and instructions to the client even when the job coach is not present. The technology is more accepted in the workplace and less conspicuous than having a job coach. Individuals utilizing the technology become more independent and can learn and work at their own pace. The program has experienced an average work performance improvement of 68 percent. HCE Opens Microfilm Laboratory Hudson Community Enterprises businesses continue to grow. Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop joined HCE Board Chairman, Ronald Shaljian in the cutting of a ribbon which officially opened HCE s State of the Art new Microfilm Laboratory. The Jersey City Community Development Block Grant Program provided a special grant of $250,000 which supported all of the work that needed to be done and the N.J. Economic Development Authority financed the purchase of the equipment for the lab. The addition of the laboratory will create 8 to 10 additional jobs for persons with disabilities and expand sales by $500,000 in its first year of operation. The Microfilm lab already has two customers on board: the NJ Division of Consumer Affairs and the NJ Judiciary. Jersey City Mayor Steven M. Fulop (left) and HCE Board Chairman, Ronald Shaljian CEA Recognition Event The Center for Educational Advancement (CEA) hosted its 19th Annual Friendship Recognition Dinner Dance on March 15th. The evening was a great success in every way. The attendees included many of CEA s clients and the event helped to raise thousands of dollars Michael Skoczek, CEA s President and CEO (at far left), poses with clients, awardees and employees at the Recognition Dinner Dance. for the agency s programs providing employment, job placement and training programs for people with various disabilities, as well as academic and transition to adulthood programs for youth. More than 200 individuals with special needs will earn a paycheck this year through the efforts of CEA. I am grateful for everyone who helped to make this event a successful one, commented John King, event Chair and Board President of the Center for Educational Advancement. We recognized some of the individuals and businesses that have helped us to achieve our goals and had a great celebration. Kenneth McIntyre was recognized as Volunteer of the Year. Reckitt Benckiser received the Production Friendship Award in recognition of the large volume of business they have provided for CEA Packaging. Tom Pirretti was recognized as Employment Services Graduate of the Year. The Extended Employee of the Year, which recognizes an Employment Services program participant who has become a permanent employee at CEA, went to James Henry.`
7 Air Force/OTC Partnership Yields Award The Air Mobile Command, the U.S. Air Force unit that provides mess hall services at the Joint Base s (McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst) Halvorsen Hall in partnership with the Occupational Training Center (OTC) of Burlington County, has claimed its third John L Hennessy Award. The honor, which is named for the late John Hennessy, a hotel and restaurant executive, promotes excellence in customer service and food service support within the Air Force. Our team has provided outstanding service to the Joint Base from the day we began working for them 20 years ago, said Joe Bender, OTC s CEO. We strive for excellence every day, and it s humbling to be recognized on a regional and national level as part of the Air Force team for doing our best work. For two decades, OTC team members, in collaboration with Air Force personnel, have served 750 meals to service men and women each day. Joint Base workers serving meals. The award is bestowed upon Air Force food service organizations that inspire high morale, motivation, mission support, and a professional image. Winners must display excellence in management effectiveness, force-readiness support, food quality, employee and customer relations, resource conservation, training, and safety awareness. Transitional Help for Special Needs Students Spring Run School at the Center for Educational Advancement (CEA) in Flemington provides services for students with autism and other special needs, their parents and teachers, and other professionals. The school recently held an open house and workshop on Transition Planning: Prepare your Special Needs Child for Life Beyond High School. The school, which serves students on the autism spectrum as well as those with multiple disabilities between the ages of 13 and 21, recently upgraded its core curriculum academic and transitional programs. Principal Paul Semegran said: As soon as a student enters Spring Run, we encourage him or her to be looking forward to their adult life and the skills and planning that will help them make a successful transition from being a school student to being an adult member of their community. The school has a daily living skills focus with an Activities of Daily Living area. Social skills are another important part of the life skills training. Spring Run also offers job training and offsite job experiences as part of its Transition Services. Students are currently working at area businesses including: Burlington Coat Factory, Marshall s, HealthQuest, State Assemblywoman Donna Simon s office, and local restaurants. 7 Parents and school districts have a variety of options to assure that special needs students maximize their potential and have a plan for post-graduation. Whether students are headed for college or other secondary schools, employment, or self directed services, steps must be taken to prepare for increased independence. Among its services the Spring Run School addresses transition needs through developing life goals and vision statements, accessing adult services, SSI/Medicaid eligibility and special needs trusts. Interested parties who missed the recent event Spring Run School student Alok Sarwade is shown preparing specialty breads as part of his food services training. may contact the Center for Educational Advancement for information at or via to New Accreditation for Abilities CARF International recently accredited Abilities of Northwest Jersey for a period of three years for its Community Employment Services, including Employment Supports and Job Development, Organizational Employment, Comprehensive Vocational Evaluation and Student Transition Services. This marks the 11th three-year accreditation that the international body has awarded to Abilities. By pursuing and achieving accreditation, Abilities has demonstrated that it meets international standards for quality and is committed to pursuing excellence, and also confirms Abilities commitment to providing quality services to persons with disabilities. An organization receiving a Three-Year Accreditation has put itself through a rigorous peer review process. It has demonstrated to a team of surveyors during an on-site visit its commitment to offering programs and services that are measurable, accountable, and of the highest quality. Abilities is a not-for-profit organization celebrating 40 years of providing a full array of community employment and day program services to people with disabilities from Warren, Hunterdon, Sussex and Morris counties.
8 150 West State Street Suite 120 Trenton, NJ Unlocking Opportunities in New Jersey NONPROFIT ORG. U.S. POSTAGE PAID TRENTON NJ PERMIT NO RETURN SERVICE REQUESTED MEMBERS & AFFILIATES Abilities NW Washington Abilities Solutions Westville Allies, Inc. Hamilton Township Axxon Connection Verona Bestwork Industries Runnemede Bright Star Scanning Services Hoboken Career Opportunity Development Egg Harbor Care Plus NJ Paramus Catholic Community Services Boland Rehab Center Newark Center for Educational Advancement Flemington Center for Vocational Rehabilitation Eatontown Community Quest Egg Harbor Twp. Easter Seals NJ East Brunswick Edison Sheltered Workshop Edison Elwyn NJ Vineland Employment Horizons, Inc Cedar Knolls Family Guidance Center Washington FEDCAP Rehabilitation Services South River First Community Development Orange Goodwill Industries (North Jersey) Harrison Goodwill Industries (South Jersey) Maple Shade Hudson Community Enterprises Jersey City Hydro Sun Farm Atlantic Highlands InspiriTec, Inc. Philadelphia Jersey Cape Diagnostic, Training & Opportunity Center Cape May Court House Jewish Vocational Service East Orange NISH Vienna, VA North Jersey Friendship House Hackensack Northwest Essex Community Healthcare Network Montclair Occupational Center of Union County Roselle Opportunity Project, Inc. Milburn OTC-Burlington County Burlington Twp. PAFACOM, INC. Vineland Pathways to Independence Kearny Spectrum Works Secaucus St. John of God Community Services Westville Grove The Arc of Bergen & Passaic Counties Hackensack The Arc of Camden County Berlin The Arc of Mercer County Ewing The Arc of Monmouth County Tinton Falls The Arc of Ocean County Lakewood The Arc of Salem County Salem The Arc of Somerset County Manville The Arc of Sussex County Augusta The Arc of Union County Springfield Twin Oaks Community Services Mt. Holly