On October 21, 2021, New York State (NYS) Governor Kathy Hochul announced a commitment of $11.1 million in federal workforce development funding over the next three years to expand the already successful network of Disability Resource Coordinators (DRCs) to all 33 Local Workforce Development Areas (LWDAs) to increase the capacity of their service delivery and better serve individuals with disabilities.
This initiative is being referred to as the New York Systems Change and Inclusive Opportunities Network (NY SCION). The word “scion” is often used in gardening, and it refers to a process by which new plants are grown from old ones. Similarly, NY SCION builds upon the work of four rounds of federal Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) pilot funding and the Disability Program Navigator before it. These two initiatives sought to improve education, training and employment opportunities and outcomes for youth and adults with disabilities including those receiving Social Security disability benefits. NY SCION will do the same – only taken to scale in nearly every LWDA across NYS.
Disability Resource Coordinators (DRCs)
DRCs are specialized staff that work to change local workforce systems to better serve individuals with disabilities. Under NY SCION, DRCs will:
- Increase the capacity of the Career Center and surrounding career pathways programs to serve individuals with disabilities;
- Identify and leverage disability-related resources and partners, including NYS Education Department (NYSED) Adult Career and Continuing Education Services – Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR) and the Office of Children and Family Services/NYS Commission for the Blind (OCFS/NYSCB), to support collaboration around a job seeker’s employment and/or training goal(s);
- Advise the workforce development system on how to effectively promote the participation of individuals with disabilities in existing career pathways systems and programs;
- Assist and train the LWDB, Career Center staff, businesses, community colleges, and training providers on such topics as rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Ticket to Work (TTW), accommodations, assistive technology, and assessments;
- Coordinate with career pathway programs’ direct service delivery staff, including career coaches;
- Assist in the recruitment of individuals with disabilities, including TTW Ticket Holders, to participate in career pathways programs, including funded career pathways training, and to utilize Career Center services;
- Identify career, training, and employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities using assessments;
- Obtain and maintain a credential to provide benefits advisement and work incentive counseling to job seekers in receipt of Social Security Administration (SSA) benefits (e.g., Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI);
- Help to expand the workforce development system's participation as an Employment Network (EN) under the TTW Program, including the assignment of appropriate Tickets to the Career Center under the New York Employment Services System (NYESS) Administrative Employment Network (AEN);
- Help ensure that individuals with disabilities access all the different programs and services they need, including career and training services offered through the Career Centers to participate in existing career pathways programs; and
- Facilitate an effective approach to leverage resources needed for individuals with disabilities to fully participate in existing career pathway programs and to achieve their employment and/or training goal(s).
The NYSDOL Team overseeing NY SCION has compiled a list of resources DRCs can use to promote systems change in their area. This list will be monitored and updated on a periodic basis. You can access the page here.
NY SCION Success Stories
Our purpose in sharing success stories from NY SCION is to inspire you and those you work with to support the success of jobseekers with disabilities in their training and employment goals. Stay tuned for updates!
Career Services for Persons with Disabilities
Visit our Career Services page for more information on how our Career Center system serves individuals with disabilities.
If you have any questions about NY SCION or other services to Individuals with Disabilities, please send an email to the NYS Department of Labor’s Special Populations Team: [email protected].