1 Unlocking Opportunities in New Jersey J U LY 2014 Job Resources Expanded J ob programs for people with disabilities are being bolstered with a $5 million dollar increase in New Jersey s State Budget for Fiscal Year 2015 (7/1/14 to 6/30/15). ACCSES New Jersey had made the additional funding one of its top priorities this year, based on the critical need for more job opportunities for these individuals, who are among the state s most disadvantaged populations. The Association advanced substantial arguments to support its quest, most notably the strong link between New Jersey s commitment to these programs and the state s economy. The jobs provide significant economic impact for New Jersey, which gains $4,745 in entitlements reduced and taxes paid for each person with a disability who is put to work, resulting in some $100 million in yearly economic activity. ACCSES NJ President/CEO Nils Richardson said These funds not only will continue to enable the availability of long-term supports for consumers working in the community and in our member-organizations work centers, but also will enable providers to improve services. Neither of these critical objectives would have been assured without the additional funds. A majority of the new money will be used to support Extended Employment (work center) jobs, with the remainder going to Long-Term Follow-Along Services for workers with disabilities who hold community jobs. State Senate President Steven Sweeney led the passage effort in the Legislature. Other members of the legislative leadership and the Chairmen and members of the respective budget committees played substantial roles and worked with the Governor and his staff to secure the funds. ACCSES NJ Chairperson Mark Boyd expressed gratitude to the Legislature and the Governor s office and to the Association s members who worked with their local legislators to achieve the funding increase: Our organization has been a strong partner with the State in job creation and workforce development, providing customized training, job placement, and retention services, backed by a successful record with clients throughout the state, he said. continued on page 3 IN THIS ISSUE P2 Chairperson s Message P3 President signs WIOA P4 Annual Meeting & CNA Expo P8 Member Roster CNA Progress Adds to Job Potential A key part of CNA Services mission is to expand employment opportunities for adults with disabilities. With year-to-date sales running ahead of last year s pace, the program appears to be well positioned to add to last year s record-breaking job total. CNA sales through May were 10 percent higher than the same period in 2013, which ended with 6,577 jobs credited to the program. CNA Services, a division of ACCSES NJ, markets a wide variety of products and services to state, county and municipal governments; government units such as authorities and commissions; colleges and public school systems; and other public entities. The products and services are provided by workers with disabilities who are trained by CNA-certified, non-profit agencies throughout the state. This year s sales increase is attributable to new contracts and expanded business in a number of categories. Janitorial Services has maintained its position as CNA s leading sector. The program started work on a new contract with the Monmouth County Parks Department in June, adding to earlier contracts with Princeton Township, Mercer County (for the Mercer Airport and the Fire Training Center), and Lawrence Township. Additionally, CNA is receiving a good flow of janitorial work inquiries from participants in New Jersey s cooperative purchasing program. Call Center Services to the Division of Consumer Affairs continues to grow, up 27 percent thus far in 2014, on top of last year s 29 percent increase. continued on page 4 UPCOMING MEETINGS General Membership September 18, 2014 Executive & DVRS Liaison Committees September 4, 2014 Business Development Commission/CNA Committee October 2, 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 Garth Hutchinson 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 It is a pleasure for me to note that our Association s enduring quest to expand job opportunities for people with disabilities has been given a positive boost. As outlined in the page 1, lead article, a $5 million dollar increase for job programs we support is included in the New Jersey State Budget for the current fiscal year. We are grateful to the Christie Administration and the Legislature for approving this funding. I also extend a special note of thanks to our members who participated in the effort to obtain the additional funds. While passage of the state budget winds down a significant segment of our work for the year, the higher funding Mark Boyd level presents a challenge for our member organizations to continue and even to enhance the outstanding work you do in providing training, jobs and other supports to those you serve. As always, the Association stands ready to assist in every way possible. The disability community also faces ongoing challenges on the national level. One of these has been met quite favorably with enactment of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (article on facing page). National ACCSES was a major force in working for this legislation, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with them on the issues that lie ahead, such as assuring the continued availability of a full array of employment options for people with disabilities, as well as education and funding. ACCSES New Jersey President/CEO Nils Richardson, who has taken a leading role on all these issues, recently spent two days in Washington, D.C. visiting members of Congress and their staffs. I deeply appreciate his efforts and those of the national ACCSES staff. Our CNA Services state set-aside program is adding to its sterling record of recent years by increasing jobs for people with disabilities, expanding programs and adding new products. Details are covered in the lower page 1 article. Full involvement with the CNA program should be a priority for all of our member organizations. We are fast approaching our ACCSES NJ Annual Membership Meeting and CNA Products & Services Expo, which will feature a strong lineup of speakers, presenters, workshops and exhibits. You can learn more about it on page 4. The date is September 23, 2014 and I hope to be able to greet all of you at that time. In the interim, enjoy the rest of the summer. Member News Briefs Continued from page 7 professional criteria and have demonstrated truly exceptional dedication, commitment, and achievement in the field of special education. Goodwill Industries of Southern NJ Diagnostic Vocational Evaluator Yvette Granger was named the New Jersey Self-Advocacy Project s 2014 Advisor of the Year. An 11-year veteran Goodwill employee, she leads the South Jersey Gladiators Self-Advocacy Group for People First. The award recognized Granger for demonstrating exemplary leadership qualities and steadfast commitment to the self-advocacy movement. Yvette Granger with Self-Advocacy Group Award
3 Workforce Bill Becomes Law On July 22, President Obama signed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), reauthorizing and modernizing both the Workforce Investment Act and the Rehabilitation Act, two of the disability community s long-standing goals. Strong advocacy by ACCSES New Jersey and national ACCSES helped win passage of the legislation in both houses of Congress. WIOA reauthorizes and reforms core workforce development programs administered by the Departments of Education (ED) and Labor, and transfers certain disability and independent living program functions from ED to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Individuals with disabilities have the highest rate of unemployment of any group, and more than two-thirds do not participate in the workforce at all. The new law represents a renewed commitment to workforce development with an eye to the future through innovation and support for individual and national economic growth. It is aimed at increasing opportunities, particularly for those facing barriers to employment, and invests in the important connection between education and career preparation. One of the law s key provisions maintains a full array of employment options for people with disabilities. It defines supported employment as competitive integrated employment, including customized employment, or employment in an integrated work setting in which individuals are working on a short-term basis toward competitive integrated employment that is individualized and customized consistent with the strengths, abilities, interests, and informed choice of individuals with the most significant disabilities. The time frame for supported employment was expanded from 18 to 24 months. National ACCSES praised Congress for these provisions, which recognize that people with disabilities, like any other individuals, are capable of choosing their own jobs in the settings they prefer. The law also calls for more focus on youth and transition services and partnerships with business, with the aim of increasing employment for people with disabilities. 3 In his remarks at the White House signing ceremony, President Obama said, The bill I m about to sign will give communities more certainty to invest in job-training programs for the long run. It will help us bring those programs into the 21st century by building on what we know works, based on evidence and based on tracking what actually delivers on behalf of folks who enroll in these programs: more partnerships with employers, more tools to measure performance, more flexibilities for states and cities to innovate and to run their workforce programs in ways that are best suited for their particular demographics and their particular industries. And as we approach the 24th anniversary of the ADA, this bill takes new steps to support Americans with disabilities who want to live and work independently. Some of the bill s other highlights: Congress listened to parents and people with significant disabilities and strengthened the bill to include Section 511 which ensures that young people with disabilities try competitive integrated employment first before other employment options are on the table. The Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) stays in the Department of Education. Both the independent living programs and the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) will be moved to the Administration for Community Living at HHS. NIDRR will be renamed The National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research. The new law states that the amendments it makes to the Rehabilitation Act, as well as the transfer of certain programs from ED to HHS, took effect when President Obama signed the bill. However, WIOA also gives the Secretaries of ED and HHS authority to ensure an orderly transition as they implement these changes so they are carried out in a manner that minimizes disruption. ED and HHS, after working with the Office of Management and Budget, have determined that ED will continue to administer the affected programs until the orderly transfer can be completed as soon as reasonably possible. Funding Continued from page 1 Inter-Departmental Transfers Part of this year s funding need was driven by the transfer of some 700 program participants from the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) in the State Department of Human Services to the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (DVRS) in the Department of Labor and Workforce Development. ACCSES NJ worked with officials in both divisions to make the process as smooth as possible and to assure the best interests of the affected workers. Mr. Richardson said details remain that will be worked out over the course of the year.
4 4 Unlocking Opportunities in New Jersey Annual Meeting/Expo Upcoming The ACCSES New Jersey Annual Membership Meeting and CNA Services 4th Annual Products and Services Expo will be help on September 23rd, 2014 at the Crowne Plaza, Exit 8-A of the New Jersey Turnpike in Monroe Township. In addition to the usual, extensive lineup of workshops and educational sessions, this year, for the first time ever, purchasing professionals have the opportunity to earn Continuing Education Units (CEU s) toward a Qualified Purchasing Agent (QPA) certification. The event also gives organizations and companies the opportunity to exhibit their products and services and provides valuable networking time. The Expo s underlying purpose is to showcase the remarkable achievements of New Jerseyans with disabilities and those who serve them. A continental breakfast and a full lunch will be provided for all registered attendees. Bobby Silverstein, national ACCSES Policy Counsel for federal-level vocational issues, will be the keynote speaker at the annual luncheon. A long-time Capitol Hill veteran and a major force in helping to win Congressional passage of critical legislation to improve job programs and other supports for people with disabilities, he will update our members on national legislative and regulatory issues confronting the disability community. Here are some of the breakout sessions planned for the event: Local Public Contracts Law Review Public School Contracts Law Review Cooperative Purchasing (Presented by Brian Gallagher of the New Jersey Division of Purchase and Property) Printing and I T Systems Solutions Janitorial Best Practices program Social Enterprise Product samples and Service demonstrations SourceAmerica participation and workshops Garth Hutchinson (left), new Regional Manager with CNA Services, attends the New Jersey Solutions Service Association (NJSSA) Conference and Show in Atlantic City NJ. The NJSSA was held from April 30th thru June 2nd and was attended by many members of ACCSES NJ and CNA Services to learn about new equipment and training methods in the janitorial field. CNA Services Continued from page 1 CNA is also expanding its Building Trades Services portfolio, with the New Jersey Division of Military and Veterans Affairs and Kean University as the primary customers. The service was up over 24 percent in the first third of Unarmed Security Services is another growth area, up 40 percent in 2013 and an additional five percent this year. CNA is striving to expand its Total Facilities Management services, which are currently provided to the State of New Jersey s Trenton Office Complex and the Bank Street Garage. Proposals have been submitted or are in progress for other state facilities. On the commodities side, CNA is enjoying continued growth in Drug Test Kits and HVAC filters and is currently working on submissions for Quick Copy Services, Media Destruction, various Food Products and Hydroponically Grown Vegetables. By assuring a continuous market for its products and services, CNA generates productive employment for adults with disabilities, empowering them to achieve maximum personal independence and enhance their dignity and capacity for self-support.
5 Skills Center Delivers Results Imagine job hunting made easy and a career conceivable for people who face barriers to employment because of a disability. For clients at the St. John of God Community Services Skills Development Center, these notions are dreams come true. Person-centered and focused on possibilities, professional staff members at the Skills Development Center help clients search, train, and keep jobs, all with the goal of becoming a productive employee in the community and as independent as possible. The Center's program, guided by St. John of God values and born out a heart-felt connection to serve, creates a unique experience for clients. A client's ultimate comfort, security and happiness are key to achieving the goal of preparing them for inclusion in the community, not only as successful employees, but also as good citizens, says Dr. Jerry Knast, the agency s Program Administrator of Vocational Rehabilitation/Adult Services. Dreams come true for clients as well as employers who participate in the Skills Development Center program. Employers take on capable, willing employees and at the same time solve some of their staffing challenges, from hiring to on-the-job training. Some of the participating community-based employers include Wawa, McDonalds, Wendy's, Walmart, Home Depot, TJ Maxx, Kohl's and several hotels. Wawa offers job-sampling opportunities where clients spend a couple hours per day, per week in the work environment to see if they are able to easily transfer skills learned in the Center to outside life. Participants at work in Skills Development Center 5 The opportunity to hold a real job and earn competitive wages, have a professional job coach and an employment training specialist, make new friends and develop the self-esteem and independence that comes from holding a job: these are the things that dreams are made of at St. John of God Community Services Skills Development Center. SustainAbilities Provides Green Job Training Abilities Electronic recycling trainee dismantling e-waste Abilities of Northwest Jersey has launched the first initiatives in its SustainABILITIES program: electronic recycling and hydroponic skill training. The programs provide meaningful "green" job skill training as well as green solutions to the local community. SustainAbilities electronic recycling services offers training and employment opportunities to differently-abled persons and persons with significant barriers to employment. Abilities is currently offering recycling services to the community for computers/electronics, printers, circuit boards, backup systems, and many other unwanted electronics. Each device is dismantled and sorted, teaching the trainees skills ranging from tool recognition, problem solving and enhancing fine motor skills. Abilities also has developed a partnership with Edible Garden/Naturally Beautiful in Belvidere to provide hydroponic skill training. Edible Garden operates a five acre state of the art hydroponic system and has partnered with Abilities to train individuals to produce locally grown, fresh produce while teaching skills that will be transferable to employment and community integration activities. Allies Chosen for Partnership From a group of more than a dozen applicants, The MIDJersey Chamber of Commerce s Young Professionals Connective (YPC) has selected Allies, Inc. as its non-profit partner for this year. YPC, a group of young professionals dedicated to giving back to the community through an annual non-profit partnership, provides an additional resource for support and fundraising. The organization is hoping to increase the number of Allies sponsorships, silent auction donations and attendance for its Taste of America event, and grow what is already a thriving event into an even bigger, more successful venture for Allies. Based in Hamilton Township, Mercer County, Allies mission is to provide housing, healthcare, meaningful employment, and recreational opportunities to people with special needs. From left, MIDJersey Chamber CEO, Robert Prunetti; YPC s 2014 co-chairs Dolores Kelly and Christina Spinelli; Allies CEO Elise Tretola; Vice President, Public Affairs and Program Development, Don Tretola; and YPC co-chair, Kacie Maslowski
6 6 Opportunity Project Founders Honored Dr. Peter Mercer (far left) and Angela Berrie (far right) present the award to Lisa Goldman and Rita Yohalem. L Unlocking Opportunities in New Jersey isa Goldman and Rita Yohalem, founders of the Opportunity Project Clubhouse Program for adults with brain injuries, have received the Russ Berrie Award for Making a Difference, which celebrates the public recognition of uncommon acts on behalf of the common good. Opportunity Project helps brain injury survivors realize their potential. The two founders shared a common bond: Goldman s son had sustained serious brain injury from a brain tumor at 13 and Yohalem s son sustained brain injuries from an auto crash at 19. After their sons lengthy medical and rehabilitation treatment, they soon realized that many challenges remained. Goldman created a blueprint of what a program could look like that would meet her son s needs. She and Yohalem toured Clubhouse programs throughout the country. Opportunity Project began with one-day-a week services in a library in Today the program provides services five-days-a-week and both women remain active and on the Board. Opportunity Project is a national model for Clubhouses and other community-based service programs for people with brain injury throughout the country. Grant to Arc Produces New Jobs The Arc of Bergen and Passaic Counties was awarded an Employment First 4 Jersey Training Grant through the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development entitled: Warehouse Training and Employment Program. The program concept involves training approved DVRS individuals to secure work in warehouses in the local community. The six week intensive training program is divided into two parts, one taught in The Arc warehouse facility and the other conducted at a local partner's warehouse. As of this writing, the partner company has hired eight individuals. New warehouse employees on the job in their community Spring Run Extends School Year Spring Run student Sarah Poliacik working on an art project Spring Run School has become New Jersey s first year-round program by offering an extended session this summer that began on July 1 and runs through August 29. The program provides additional time to help students with disabilities develop their academic and social skills. During school breaks many students do not retain skills learned and then must be re-taught those skills when back in school. The continuation of a school program into the summer months has been shown to provide the structure and routine some children with disabilities need to avoid regression. The summer program includes full-scale, individualized academic instruction, physical education, art/ceramics, life skills, financial literacy, vocational instruction with job coaching and weekly extended classroom experiences. Spring Run School, operated by the Center for Educational Advancement in Hunterdon County, is a certified private secondary school serving students with autism and multiple disabilities. Academy Affiliates with Goodwill North In order to better prepare students with behavioral and emotional disabilities for life after high school, the Palisades Regional Academy, a state approved day school for children with special needs, has relocated to the NY-NJ Goodwill headquarters in Harrison, New Jersey. Goodwill staff will provide transition services for the students, which will address post-high school goals, including vocational evaluation, job sampling, work readiness classes, internships and more. For over three decades, the Palisades Regional Academy has been successfully graduating students with behavioral and emotional disabilities from high school. By collaborating with Goodwill, a recognized leader in workforce development, the Academy will seamlessly integrate the best practices of education and workforce development.
7 7 JVS Director Receives Award Peggy Himsl was the recipient of The Claudia Fogel Memorial Award, which recognizes excellence in leadership skills and a commitment to Jewish communal service. Ms. Himsl has spent her entire 40 year career at JVS of Metro West, beginning as an intern while studying for her Master s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling, and serving as Director of Rehabilitation Services since She is Past President of the New Jersey Rehabilitation Association and the Northeast Rehabilitation Association. The Fogel award is named for the original project director of the JVS Work Center on Aging. Interns Learn in JVS Program Peggy Himsl accepts the Claudia Fogel Memorial Award from IAJVS Director Genie Cohen and JVS Interim Co-Executive Directors Caren Ford and Nancy Fisher. JVS of MetroWest has an ongoing tradition of providing internship opportunities to graduate students in the Department of Psychiatric Rehabilitation and Counseling Professions, School of Health Related Professions at Rutgers University. Pictured are interns Krystle Leonard, Lisa Simmons, and Ellen Blake (each has since received Masters Degrees), working in the JVS Career Center for individuals diagnosed with an autism disorder. The program has placed 21 individuals with autism into competitive employment in the past year. Noted Psychologist Headlines Meeting The North Jersey Friendship House Family Auxiliary hosted a lecture at its June meeting, featuring psychologist and author, Dr. Samuel Shein. With a strong focus on family management, Dr. Shein stressed the importance of teaching balance between feelings, thoughts, and behavior/reactions. He emphasized the need to focus on putting proper perspective on life events and the power of teaching by example. Dr. Shein also spoke individually with family members, providing further insight and coping mechanisms. The mission of the Family Auxiliary is to improve the quality of each member s experience at Friendship House through various fundraising initiatives. Dr. Samuel Shein, addressing the Friendship House Family Auxiliary Member News Briefs Goodwill Returns to Bergen County: A new Goodwill Store opened in Elmwood Park on March 27. The 15,000 square-foot store, located at 30 Broadway in Elmwood Park, NJ, is open to the public Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and closed on Sundays. Spring Run School has been selected as a School of Excellence by the National Association of Special Education Teachers. This distinction has been bestowed upon only a few, select private special education schools in the State of New Jersey. The honor is presented to private special education schools that meet rigorous continued on page 2 North Jersey Friendship House held its annual Wellness Walk for Mental Health and Autism on June 1. Pictured at the event, from left, are Paul Muller, Chairman, Board of Trustees; Jeffrey Gurmankin, and Chief Executive Officer Jack Doyle. (Photo by Stephen Mazzella Mazzway Photos LLC)
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 Cherry Hill 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 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