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March 15, 2023

New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities Announces $2.5 Million Partnership with the University of Minnesota Research and Training Center on Community Living

New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities Announces $2.5 Million Partnership with the University of Minnesota Research and Training Center on Community Living
UMN will evaluate the outcomes of OPWDD’s American Rescue Plan Act workforce projects for dissemination of best practices system-wide

Albany, N.Y. – March 15, 2023 -- The New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) has entered into a three-year $2.5 million partnership with the University of Minnesota’s Research and Training Center on Community Living (RTC-CL) to conduct an in-depth evaluation of OPWDD’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) workforce development projects.

 

"Our agency has dedicated a significant portion of our ARPA funding to address the direct support workforce shortage, and it is critical for us to measure the success of these investments to help inform future needs,” said Kerri E. Neifeld, Commissioner of the Office of People with Developmental Disabilities.  “We look forward to working with the University of Minnesota to understand the impacts of the investments we are making to strengthen New York’s developmental disabilities workforce by recruiting new direct support staff and encouraging current employees to stay with us and build long-term careers.”

 

The RTC-CL is the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research’s national center on community living and participation for people with developmental disabilities. Housed within the University of Minnesota’s (UMN) Institute on Community Integration (ICI), the RTC-CL conducts a wide range of research, training, technical assistance and information dissemination projects related to community supports.

 

"ICI is excited to partner with OPWDD on this important initiative. The DSP workforce crisis has been decades in the making, and the state of New York is wisely investing in a number of workforce intervention initiatives,” said Julie Bershadsky, Director of Community Living and Employment, ICI. “It is imperative that the process and outcomes of these investments are documented and evaluated so that future investments are data informed and others can benefit from what is learned in New York."

 

In collaboration with grantees who have received OPWDD ARPA funds to complete specific projects focused on supporting the developmental disabilities service system’s workforce, the UMN will monitor the progress and outcomes of each initiative. OPWDD will share the results of the project evaluations broadly so that best practices can be cascaded across the service system. UMN will provide a capstone report that will inform recommendations for how to scale up promising practices, strengthen direct support recruitment and retention efforts, and enhance professional development and capacity of the direct support workforce statewide.

For more information on the specific workforce development initiatives, please visit the websites of OPWDD, the University of Minnesota’s Research and Training Center on Community Living, or contact [email protected].