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New York invests $32M in workforce development for disabilities support

In a major move to strengthen the support for New Yorkers with developmental disabilities, Governor Kathy Hochul has announced a $32 million investment aimed at growing the workforce dedicated to this cause. The funding will boost the Direct Support Professional microcredential program managed by the State University of New York (SUNY) and the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD). This expansion is set to educate up to 6,000 students by 2030, significantly increasing the number of trained professionals in the state.

Governor Hochul highlighted the importance of direct support professionals, acknowledging their role in helping individuals with developmental disabilities lead fulfilling lives. The investment will facilitate the addition of new programs across more SUNY campuses, ensuring that more students have access to training in this vital career path. SUNY’s initiative has already seen remarkable participation, with 173 students joining the program at Dutchess Community College in the spring semester of 2024.

This initiative is not only about expanding educational opportunities; it’s also about enhancing the quality of life for New Yorkers with developmental disabilities. Through partnerships and federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act, the program aims to create a more robust workforce by offering microcredentials that lead to national certifications and college credits. This comprehensive approach promises to bring about a significant change in the way support is provided to individuals with developmental disabilities across New York.

To visualize the impact of this initiative, let’s create an image that embodies the essence of community support and education. Imagine a vibrant, inspiring scene at a SUNY campus where students and educators are gathered to celebrate the expansion of the Direct Support Professional program, symbolizing hope and commitment to making a difference in the lives of those with developmental disabilities.