Mannion secures funding for employment program at SU

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A new program at Syracuse University will offer twenty students the chance to receive free instruction in workforce preparedness.

The Inclusive Entrepreneurship and Employment Program at Syracuse University is designed to help individuals with disabilities earn the skills they need to enter the workforce or become entrepreneurs. State Sen. John Mannion secured $50,000 in funding for the public-private partnership that will allow a cohort of 20 students to receive instruction at no cost.

Mannion said it is more important than ever to have a strong, capable workforce and this program will help secure that.

“We need people with disabilities in our workforce not just because it should be an inclusive environment but because we have workforce shortages,” Mannion said.

The program is modeled after Syracuse’s successful Institute for Veterans and Military Families and partners with a number of local employers and disability service providers. Mannion said students in the cohort will have increased access to job opportunities and networking.

“This is really a way to make sure that we are lifting everybody up and removing those barriers and giving everyone an opportunity,” Mannion said.

He said it will help strengthen diversity and opportunity in the local workforce.

“People, regardless of their background, in many ways, they just make great employees,” Mannion said. “They want to be at work, the work is gratifying and they really add positively to the culture.”