Senator Mannion Announces Launch Of Inclusive Entrepreneurship And Employment Pilot Program For Persons With Disabilities In Partnership With Syracuse University

Senator Mannion secured $50,000 to support the SU pilot as part of his continued commitment to workforce training programs across Central New York including funding MACNY apprenticeships, On Point for College, OCC/AccessCNY, and Centerstate CEO 

SYRACUSE, NY – Senator John Mannion in partnership with Syracuse University today announced the launch of the Inclusive Entrepreneurship and Employment Program, a new pilot program to help individuals with disabilities earn the skills needed to enter the workforce or become entrepreneurs.

This public-private partnership, funded in part by $50,000 secured by Senator Mannion in the state budget, will provide the initial cohort of twenty participants free instruction by Syracuse University professors and collaboration with the NYS Adult Career and Continuing Education Services, ARISE, Our Ability, Inc., InSourcing, The Business Incubator Association of NYS (BIANYS,) and The Small Business Development Center at Onondaga Community College.

The program will equip participants with information, education, skills training, and human support to help individuals with disabilities make informed choices about their careers and succeed in their chosen field.

Senator John W. Mannion, Chairman of the Disabilities Committee said, “Central New York is on the rise with boundless opportunities for jobseekers and entrepreneurs. I’m committed to meeting the demand for new workers while removing obstacles that keep New Yorkers with disabilities from pursuing a career or launching a business. Syracuse University’s Center on Disability and Inclusiveness is the gold standard for supporting people with disabilities as they continue their education, and this pilot program builds on that pioneering work.”

Steve Kuusisto, University Professor and Director of Interdisciplinary Programs at the Burton Blatt Institute said, “Syracuse University is grateful for the support of Senator Mannion as we collectively embark on this innovative pilot program. This program, which draws on Syracuse University’s deep expertise in entrepreneurship, disability studies and developing non-matriculated students, has the potential to position individuals with disabilities for career and life success, as well as professional independence and autonomy. This is a program designed by the disabled, for the disabled, led by the disabled. We are looking forward to learning from this initiative and helping our region cultivate the workforce of the future, inclusive of those with disabilities.”

Senator Mannion has been proactively working to build workforce training capacity in Central New York to prepare for the arrival and growth of the semiconductor industry and associated supply chain. He has secured millions of dollars to support MACNY’s apprenticeship program, as well as funding for On Point for College, Onondaga Community College in partnership with AccessCNY, and Centerstate CEO.

The Inclusive Entrepreneurship and Employment Program is modeled after Syracuse University’s successful Institute for Veterans and Military Families.

Senator Mannion strongly encourages Central New Yorkers with disabilities and their families to attend his upcoming Disabilities Resources Fair on Tuesday, September 12, 2023 from 11 am to 2 pm at the North Syracuse Community Center. This free event includes information about services, employment, and currently available state resources and programs.

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