CAREERS Support Solutions, Inc.

Opening the door to new opportunities...

aka CAREERS   |   Valhalla, NY   |  www.CAREERSSupportSolutions.org

Mission

CAREERS was established in 1987 when a group of parents expressed concern about the lack of job opportunities for their children with disabilities. Our goal is to help individuals with disabilities achieve independence, satisfaction and self-sufficiency through successful employment in the community. Many people with disabilities are unable to overcome the barriers to acceptance in the workplace. By partnering with them and with employers, we offer support needed to accomplish this. CAREERS has grown steadily since 1987 and now also provides workforce readiness skills and job placement to low-income, long-term unemployed individuals -- both with and without disabilities. We have two offices: (1) Valhalla, serving mid-lower Westchester, and (2) Carmel, serving northern Westchester & Putnam.

Ruling year info

1994

Executive Director

Ms. Christina Cornish-Lauria

Main address

400 Columbus Ave Suite 123 South, 2nd Floor

Valhalla, NY 10595 USA

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Formerly known as

Westchester Council for Careers for People with Disabilities, Inc.

CAREERS for People with Disabilities, Inc.

EIN

13-3424844

NTEE code info

Vocational Rehabilitation (includes Job Training and Employment for Disabled and Elderly) (J30)

Human Services - Multipurpose and Other N.E.C. (P99)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Supported Work Program for People with Disabilities

CAREERS helps individuals with disabilities find and maintain employment. Through our main "Supported Work Program", CAREERS provides extensive on-the job training and long-term employment support; educates employers about the benefits of hiring workers with disabilities; forms partnerships with employees, employers and families. All of CAREERS' services are free. CAREERS also runs three outreach programs to help clients transition to the workforce: (1) "School-to-Work Transition Program", serving high school juniors and seniors entering the job market, (2) "Community Transition Program", serving individuals in psychiatric programs; and (3) "Community Outreach Program", to help clients network with the area's larger businesses.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities
Unemployed people

CAREERS’ Workforce Readiness, Placement and Training program, combined with our Financial Education Training Program, is a classroom style workshop tailored to each participant, regardless of their disability. From filling out a job application, what to wear and how to speak to an interviewer, writing resumes and filling out applications, CAREERS staff provides the insights to help an individual find and keep the right job for their interests and skill level. We also work on setting career goals, how to follow up after the interview, how to budget, save and invest and how to earn and keep a good credit score.

Designed to fill a void in the system for individuals with disabilities, the curriculum includes written and video materials for each component, as well as role playing, mock interviews and feedback.

After evaluating each client, we work with them on the skills they need to acquire, begin and maintain a job. Once we help them find a job, we provide one-on-one job training and job coaching, follow-along and ongoing support services for as long as necessary to insure our client’s continued employment success.

CAREERS’ fills the need for this underserved population by looking at each client’s needs and finding a way to assure that they will be fulfilled in a job in their community for the long-term. As technology broadens opportunities for able-bodied workers, it complicates the process of applying for and maintaining a job for some of our less tech-savvy clients. They need additional support in filling out on-line job applications, or have trouble finding resources and job opportunities online. They often require additional on-the-job training to master job skills and/or require support in areas like transportation and communication. Most encounter reluctance by employers to consider people with disabilities when hiring.

In many cases, our training and advocacy makes a major difference in each of our client’s lives; being hired and successful with ongoing CAREERS support as opposed to being discouraged and isolated without it. Unaware of available services, people with disabilities often remain unemployed or experience repeated job failures. Unsuccessful, they become isolated and fail to experience the important sense of "well-being" that comes from productive long-term employment in the community. Unable to establish financial independence, many remain isolated – and dependent – forced to rely on public assistance and/or their families to survive.

CAREERS’ Workforce Readiness, Placement and Training Program meets an immediate community need by directly addressing the issues of high unemployment and lack of independent performance among people with disabilities.

According to recent Department of Labor data, the jobless rate for people with disabilities is 12.8%, up from 12.1%, twice the rate of their able-bodied peers.
Over 9% of people with disabilities live below the federal poverty level and more than 16% have not graduated from high school. It is these statistics that make it clear, the services provided by CAREERS are vital to this underserved population.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities
Unemployed people

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

CAREERS' fundamental goal is to assist our clients in achieving the satisfaction of sustained, gainful employment within their communities.
We find productive employment for individuals with learning, intellectual, developmental, psychiatric and/or physical disabilities, as well as long-term unemployed, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients. CAREERS' provides extensive on-the-job training and ongoing support services for high school students and adults, based on their individual needs, skills and interests.

We also aim to educate employers and the community about the benefits of hiring workers with disabilities, and provide workers for jobs that may be difficult for employers to fill.

CAREERS has a variety of programs in place to help individuals with disabilities find employment. Our Workforce Readiness, Placement and Training Program helps people with disabilities find jobs and provides the support needed to keep them. Our School-to-Work Transition Program provides job training, coaching and placement to students with disabilities. Our Ambition In Motion (AIM) Program teaches life, social and prevocational skills to young adults who are not ready for a supported work program. Our Workforce Readiness Program for long-term, low-income unemployed was started with a grant from NY State to help these individuals find and keep gainful employment.

1) We conduct comprehensive outreach to organizations and schools that work with individuals with disabilities who are in need of learning job readiness skills, job placement, and/or ongoing support to help keep their job. From these contacts, we receive referrals and provide individualized services, in collaboration with special education teachers, guidance counselors, social workers, appropriate government agencies and families.

2) We conduct a thorough intakes/assessments to determine abilities, interests, goals and objectives to assure that we procure employment consistent with each person's preferred employment outcome. We assist with resume writing and teach interview techniques and other pre-emplyment soft skills. We then look for employment opportunities, matching interests and strengths of each person to jobs. We set up interviews that we usually attend, and continue to follow-up until the individual has been hired. We also provide emotional support and guidance to build confidence critical to success in the job search process.

3) Once hired, we provide intensive on-the-job training, with the frequency and level of training based on the needs of each client. Additional interventions may include transportation and/or travel training, advocacy with coworkers and/or supervisors, facilitation of needed accommodations on the job, and interaction with other service providers involved with the client to insure a good adjustment to the job. We remain on the job with each worker for as long as necessary to insure that he/she achieves competence and independence. We spend as much time as needed, either in person or on the phone, providing emotional support, social guidance and problem-solving, to foster social integration skills.

CAREERS' enthusiastic and qualified professional staff have years of specialized training in the field of vocational rehabilitation. Executive Director Tina Cornish-Lauria has dedicated her career to helping individuals with disabilities become self-sufficient through employment. She has a B.S. in Rehabilitation and has worked with adults with disabilities since 1981. She joined CAREERS in 1989 to open the agency's northern Westchester and Putnam branch, and was appointed Executive Director in 1991.

CAREERS' Program Coordinators in both our Carmel and Valhalla offices have 20+ years of experience each. Our Employment Specialists are highly trained, skilled and selected for this program based on years of successful experience, with proven track records in job development and placement. We have very little staff turnover which means that our qualified professional staff have long-standing relationships with our clients and their families, employers and communities we serve.

Since 1987, CAREERS has been a leader in the community for providing the training, placement and follow-along support individuals with disabilities need to be successful in the workplace. We have developed outstanding relationships with schools, businesses and government agencies to reach as many individuals as possible and provide the job training, placement and support they need to be successful.

Our primary accomplishment is placing individuals in jobs, many of whom may not be able to find employment on their own. In 2016, we placed 119 individuals in new jobs and 39 in internships in Westchester and Putnam Counties. In 2016, 74% of our clients with disabilities retained their jobs for a year or more. Over 742 individuals are still in the jobs we placed them in since our organization's inception! The skills they acquired through our program, and the ongoing support they receive from our highly skilled Employment Specialists, enable them to successfully carry out their job responsibilities and maintain their positions by working effectively with co-workers and managers.

Another ongoing accomplishment is the number of clients we reach through our Workforce Readiness classes, held in several locations to accommodate our clients who have transportation issues. In 2016, we taught 165 clients during 115 classes.

The recent expansion of our services to include low-income, long term unemployed Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients is another stride we have made to keep our organization moving forward.

Expansion of our services also includes our Ambition In Motion (AIM) Program, a unique day habilitation program for developmentally disabled young adults who have aged-out of high school and need a place to learn life and job skills in order to be productive members of the community.

Our accomplishments can also be measured one client at a time…

When Shannon came to CAREERS to participate in our Workforce Readiness program, she needed every skill our Employment Specialists could offer. She is learning disabled and needed assistance with everything from interview proficiency to appropriate workplace behavior. Shannon's lack of real world experience and social skills led to frustration and concern for her ability to successfully get and keep a job.

After participating in our Workforce Readiness “Job Club" and working with staff on job readiness skills, Shannon was placed at Barnes and Noble in 2011, where she has made remarkable strides. Originally hired to shelve books, she has gone well past her job responsibilities, including inventory, assisting customers and using computers to find books. Initially, her Employment Specialist spent several weeks working Shannon's entire shift with her to make sure she had the skills needed to succeed. Having surpassed all expectations, Shannon received a personal Achievement Award at CAREERS' 25th Anniversary celebration, and has been named Employee of the Month at Barnes and Noble, where she recently celebrated her 6th anniversary.

Financials

CAREERS Support Solutions, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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CAREERS Support Solutions, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 06/08/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Kevin Ross

S & H Uniform

Howard Forbes

Howard Forbes, D.D.S.

Kevin Ross

S and H Uniforms

Charles Zegers

Bronx River Digital Media

Alex Hart

Hart Vida & Partners

Lauren Enea

Enea, Scanlan & Sirignano, LLP

Arthur Amler

Amler Associates

Kenneth Gulmi

Examiner Media

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 6/8/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability