Senator Steve Saland Announces Funding For New Horizons Resources

Stephen M. Saland

May 29, 2008

New Horizons provides residential, day habilitation, vocational development and clinical services by individuals who work to provide daily care and support to our most vulnerable citizens. Each day, these individuals provide hands on care, providing vital assistance for persons in need of getting through life’s daily activities; activities we all take for granted.

New Horizons has worked in cooperation with the Department of Labor to create the Direct Support Professional (DSP) as an apprenticeable trade in New York and has helped craft a national credential four-level DSP certification program with the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals and the University of Minnesota. New Horizons has also won numerous awards and accolades for their work in creating direct support as a profession.

“New Horizons’ expertise in the area of training skilled workers to provide the myriad of highly individualized services needed by persons with developmental disabilities is unquestioned,” said Senator Saland. The Professional Development and Support Center will directly address the significantly increased need for a well trained direct care workforce. I’m glad I was able to secure this funding to help them further this important mission.”

New Horizons Resources Executive Director Regis Obijiski said, “New Horizons Resources, a not-for-profit organization in Dutchess County serving children and adults with disabilities, is very grateful to Senator Saland and to New York State for supporting our efforts in workforce development. We honor his vision to understand and address a critical workforce issues in our State.”

“Human services is an significant subset of health care which is the fastest growing sector in the New York State and national economy. All of health care is labor intensive, and yet its workforce is very fragile, experiencing a high rate of turnover in frontline service personnel. At New Horizons' new training center, we will be expanding the success of our own staff educational programs to include a regional initiative of certifying direct support staff with a national credential we were instrumental in creating. This credentialing initiative will not only remove the stigma of expendability among the thousands of direct support staff but also give them enhanced skills and a career opportunity in the human services. Most importantly, the career-oriented credential will give the most vulnerable citizens in New York the quality services they deserve,” Obijiski added.