Congratulations to Community Services for the Developmentally Disabled on the Opening of its New Career Center!
Community Services for the Developmentally Disabled (CSDD) opened its new Jefferson Career Center on Monday, October 30. The center is located at 1485 Jefferson Avenue, Buffalo, the former site of the Bethel Head Start building.
The new center will offer people with developmental disabilities a place to develop work skills and help connect them to competitive employment opportunities in their fields of interest. It will offer hands-on learning suites that are industry specific, providing training opportunities to explore a variety of career paths. Each suite will be custom built to ensure accessibility for everyone.
The Oishei Foundation supported the effort with a $125,000 grant.
View more photos of the new center here.
CSDD partnered with the Basil Family of Dealerships to provide an automotive detailing suite where people will learn the skills needed for car detailing, including how to use the proper cleaning tools and products and safety precautions and the value of meticulousness.
CSDD is also working with the Hyatt Regency to offer a hospitality suite, which will include a mock hotel room for the people they support to develop and practice the skills they learn. By using this active learning model, people will build customer service skills, learn how to clean and set up a room, and keep track of an inventory list.
Working in the food industry generates much interest for the people CSDD serves. The new center's culinary suite will feature an industrial style kitchen where people interested in culinary arts will learn how to prepare and serve food, gain insight into how assembly work operates, use kitchen tools safely, and how to sanitize a work space.
Another suite at the Jefferson Career Center will be an office setting where people will have the opportunity to learn essential computer skills, how to operate copy and fax machines, effective communication via phone, and how to successfully work with customers and co-workers.
The center will also be the site of an after-school respite program for children who receive services, giving them a safe, accessible place to learn new skills, meet friends and engage in meaningful activities outside of school.
“We are thrilled to see this project come to fruition. The Jefferson Career Center will positively impact many of the people we support by helping them gain work skills and connecting them with competitive employment opportunities,” said Mindy Cervoni, president and CEO. “This center will help people achieve their goals and lead more independent lives.”
“The Jefferson Career Center is more than a building for the people we support. It is a representation of our belief that every person, given the appropriate supports and opportunity, has the ability to contribute to their community. For those we support, a job is so much more than a paycheck. It is independence, inclusion and an improved quality of life,” said Michelle Zangerle, assistant director of vocational services.
“Along with the opportunity to expand our respite program, Jefferson provides additional space for a gross motor room and outside playground with a recreational area. With the addition of these two spaces, people that utilize respite supports will have more space to develop and grow,” said Ashley McLimans, assistant director of day services.
The Jefferson Career Center will broaden CSDD's scope of services, provide new employment opportunities, and explore each person they serve’s talents and interests.
Eight WNY Nonprofit Organizations Participating in Inaugural StoryGrowing WNY Class
StoryGrowing WNY is underway! Eight WNY non-profit organizations were selected for the Class of 2018. Based on the teachings of Andy Goodman of The Goodman Center, StoryGrowing WNY is a nine-month communications capacity-building program that trains organizations to harness the power of storytelling and nurture their organization’s growth through effective branding and communications. Working directly with a variety of local professionals, StoryGrowing WNY participants will learn how to balance emotional and rational messaging, target the right audiences and make efficient use of digital and social tools.
The eight Western New York nonprofit organizations participating in the program are:
- Cazenovia Recovery Systems, which provides a comprehensive continuum of chemical dependency and mental health residential services for men and women in recovery.
- Child & Family Services, one of Western New York's oldest human service agencies, Child and Family Services fosters safe and healthy environments for children and families in local homes, schools, workplaces and communities.
- ECBA Volunteer Lawyers Project, which provides free civil legal services to low income individuals and small not-for-profit groups in Erie County.
- Neighborhood Health Center, an FQHC that provides primary healthcare and wellness to all, regardless of insurance status or ability to pay.
- New York State Caregiving and Respite Coalition which is a partnership of dedicated organizations and individuals committed to supporting the millions of informal caregivers throughout the state.
- Roycroft Campus, which offers educational programming, artisan classes, lectures, interactive events and social gatherings to further promote and preserve the historic Roycroft Campus and the ideals of the Arts & Crafts movement.
- The Foundry (Net+Positive, Inc.) which strives to foster ecologically, economically and socially viable neighborhood systems in the City of Buffalo by promoting community arts; providing mentoring and training opportunities for low-income, unemployed or underemployed individuals, and encouraging environmentally sensitive community development.
- Westminster Economic Development Initiative which empowers economically disadvantaged people in Buffalo, with a primary focus on the West Side community. WEDI reduces barriers to success and opportunity through economic development, community building, and education.
The selected organizations participate in the program at no cost to them. Funding is provided by the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York and The John R. Oishei Foundation.
The program will feature a variety of learning techniques—including lectures, workshops, private coaching, guided development, and presentation opportunities— designed to help participants determine compelling key messages for the organizations; use stories in advocacy, development, recruiting, and other primary communications; and identify and apply types of stories and their relevance to organizations’ target audiences. Best practices in writing, photography, videography, disseminating stories through community outreach, and effectively telling stories will be shared.
“StoryGrowing WNY” is presented by the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York and The John R. Oishei Foundation as part of a collaborative capacity-building effort. The Health Foundation for Western and Central New York is an independent private foundation that advocates for continuous improvement in health and health care by investing in the people and organizations that serve young children and older adults. The John R. Oishei Foundation, a private charitable foundation, enhances the economic vitality and quality of life for the Buffalo Niagara region through grantmaking, leadership and network building.
Tape Art Event is Indescribable Experience for All
On June 17th, 2017, the Lipsey Buffalo Architecture Center came alive with the buzz of collaborative problem solving. Students from the Cornell High Road Fellows program, Oishei Leaders from local non-profit organizations, Oishei staff and Board members and representatives from the Architecture Center worked together to create four Tape Art murals, stretching their leadership muscles and exploring the challenges that face those working to make a difference in our communities.
The theme of the day was “Navigating Narratives”. Like every city, Buffalo is defined by the stories that are told about it. It is too often the case that narratives about cities are dominated by a focus on problems and struggles. These problems become ingrained in the identity of urban communities in a way that makes them even harder to overcome. Even when progress is being made, negative narratives can make it seem like there is no hope for meaningful change.
For this project, participants were tasked with retelling these stories. They entered a space with four drawings representing the most pressing challenges that Buffalo faces today. These drawings transformed the issues of economic inequality, segregation, disenfranchisement, and urban sprawl into monsters worthy of myth. In teams, participants worked together to draw the counter narratives to these social monsters directly over the original drawings. The new narratives featured solutions to each social issue through the lens of social justice warriors.
The day ended with a discussion of the power of collaboration in solving problems and the power of using narratives in the work of social justice.
View photos from the day, read more in this booklet put together by the Tape Art team and view a short video from the day.