Neither Black Friday nor the Christmas rush could keep recent Westchester Exceptional Children’s School (WEC) grad Nicholas from excelling at his new job at Big Lots in Cortlandt Manor.  

Hoping to get a job in maintenance after attending some BOCES classes, Nicholas came to CAREERS in November, and our staff quickly placed him in the type of position he had hoped to attain. After 40 hours of intensive job training over 2 months with his CAREERS Employment Specialist Mary Filipponi, Nicholas  mastered all aspects of his job.

His pleasant, friendly demeanor made him a natural at customer service, a valuable skill during the busy holiday season.  When he moved to this next job, he only needed to be shown a task once to know what to do, including utilizing technology­ from the time clock and inventory control.  

Attention to detail and willingness to go above and beyond what is expected, including polishing the stores furniture without being asked, prompts his manager, John, to say Nicholas “does a great job, nothing fazes him.”  Most importantly –Nicholas loves his job and is proud of what he is doing.

CAREERS Seeks Developmentally Disabled Individuals for Free Job Placement and Training

We want to identify developmentally disabled clients who would like the opportunity to work in the community and who would benefit from the enhanced supports provided by a newly funded project.  Please call us to see if your family member is eligible for this rare opportunity to be integrated in real jobs within your community and receive the long-term training and support needed for him/her to be successfully employed.

We have received a grant through the NYS Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD – formerly OMRDD) and have the opportunity to provide “Enhanced Supported Employment Services” to clients inWestchesterCounty.  Through this project, we can provide job placement, on-the-job training, on-site job coaching, and long-term support services to clients enrolled under Medicaid who want to work in the community.

The purpose of the grant is to promote employment for individuals with developmental disabilities who have not been able to obtain and/or maintain employment through the provision of traditional supported employment services.

Clients who participate will receive more job coaching for a longer length of time than the norm for someone in a supported work program.  The goal is that, eventually, each client will be able to graduate to regular supported work extended services with funding through OPWDD or ACCES-VR (formerly VESID).

We have several training opportunities available and our goal is to work with local families by meeting as soon as possible so we can get the family member enrolled in the project right away.  All clients must be eligible for the Medicaid Home & Community Based Services waiver (HCBS) and denied services from ACCES-VR (formerly VESID) because they are not yet ready for traditional supported employment.

We have a 24+ year track record of providing supported work services and our expertise ensures that this project will be a great success.  We are also thrilled that developmentally disabled clients who want the opportunity to work in the community will now get the chance to learn skills to become successfully employed – an opportunity that has not been available until now. 

If interested, please call us for more information.



Tina Cornish-Lauria

Tina Cornish-Lauria, Executive Director

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