OPWDD collaborates with agencies in the human service sector, labor, and educational system to develop strategies and best practices that support a competent and stable workforce in the developmental disabilities field. Through these partnerships, we have gathered useful information to assist you with recruitment and retention. 

Partner with New York State Department of Labor

Post Jobs

New York State Job Bank

Organizations can post jobs with the New York State Job Bank/JobsExpress at no cost.  There are two ways in which you, as a provider agency, can post.

One way is called indexing. This is an automatic feed that you sign-up for that pulls jobs right from your career site to the New York State Department of Labor's (DOL) site.

Another option is having Department of Labor staff post your job openings for you. All you have to do is provide a job description, including the skills and abilities desired, and staff can post the position, finding the best match possible. 

More than 40,000 job seekers visit the New York State Job Bank on a monthly basis, which means job postings get a lot of exposure.

A business using Department of Labor Recruitment Services can save up to $8,000 per year.

Career Fairs

Participating in career fairs, mini job fairs, or customized recruitment is another great way to find qualified workers. These no-cost events offer a setting where an organization can meet several candidates face-to-face. The Department of Labor can target events to specific industries or to an individual business, holding events at Department of Labor facilities or at the location of the business doing the recruitment. 

Conducting recruitment events at Department of Labor Career Centers can save a business up to $15,000 a year.  

Human Resource Consultation

Department of Labor Occupational Analysts can help organizations with a variety of human resources services at no cost, saving them thousands of dollars each year. Department of Labor services include:

  • Job Analysis - Review the specific requirements of a job and the work performed to develop detailed job descriptions.
  • Skills Gap Analysis - Identify and compare the knowledge, skills, and abilities of individuals with the job requirements to identify transferable skills and training needs.
  • Employee Handbooks - Help develop a new guide for employees or review an existing version.
  • Legal Compliance - Referral to resources of information on labor laws.
  • Employment Applications - Review current applications or help develop new ones to ensure compliance with Equal Opportunity employment laws.
  • Interview Techniques - Help you get the information needed from interviews.
  • Employee Orientation - Develop consistent standards for new hires to help them learn about your business and their job.
  • Turnover Analysis - Help determine why workers leave their jobs and suggest steps to reduce the time-consuming and costly process of recruiting new employees.

Website: https://labor.ny.gov/businessservices/services/servicesindex.shtm

Federal Bonding Program

The Federal Bonding Program (FBP) was created as a hiring incentive for job seekers with employment challenges. The Federal Bonding Program provides no-cost fidelity bonding for six months to businesses that hire hard-to-place job seekers. The benefits of the Federal Bonding Program are promoted to businesses and job seekers at all New York State Career Centers. For more information about the Federal Bonding Program, contact Central Office bonding staff at [email protected], or any of the local bonding coordinators listed on their website.

Layoff Aversion & Shared Work

Layoff Aversion

Rapid Response is a service offered by the NYS DOL to businesses and workers affected by cutbacks and site closings. They provide early job placement assistance and other service resources. 

Shared Work

The Department of Labor regional teams help protect your workers during temporary business downturns through the Shared Work Program. Shared work gives an alternative to laying off your employees. It lets you keep trained workers with key skill sets. Under this program, your business can:

  • Reduce the number of normal work hours for a particular unit, shift, or all staff;
  • Include full- and part-time employees in the plan;
  • Apply for a plan with a minimum of two employees;
  • Agree to continue fringe benefit levels, unless you must reduce them for your entire workforce;
  • Supplement lost pay with partial Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits (up to 26 weeks); and,
  • Require that the Shared Work participant remain available to work for you as in their normal work schedule.

Partner with the Division of Veterans' Services

Visit the New York State Department of Veterans’ Services.

NYS has Local Veterans Employment Representatives (LVERs) to assist you. LVERs provide services including:

Job matching and job placement for veterans with employers

Conducting employer outreach

Informing Federal contractors of the process to hire qualified veterans

Partnerships can also be developed by providers to offer additional financial benefits to Veterans who work in training programs.

For more information, visit our Become a VA Approved Employer page.

Professional Development Resources

Professional Development

SUNY For All
SUNY and the New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) are collaborating to offer service providers and potential direct support candidates across NYS access to SUNY For All, a free online career and educational training program that includes one-on-one success coaches and a pathway to a college education through automatic enrollment in any SUNY Community College, SUNY Empire State College, SUNY Canton, or SUNY Delhi.

Enroll now, and tap into more than 20 short, free, online programs, including the transferrable Direct Support Professional (DSP) Immersion Course. Through this course, students learn the skills necessary for a career that’s all about supporting people with developmental disabilities to live fulfilling lives. Students can also use this training to launch careers in healthcare, social services, or human service professions!

For more information and to enroll in the course, visit the SUNY for All  Direct Support Professional course page.

SUNY Empire community partnerships 
SUNY Empire State College provides educational solutions to address the specific needs of community organizations and to help employees and members advance their education and careers.

Partnership benefits are available to employees, retirees, family members and the people receiving supports from partnered community organizations. For organizations interested in developing a partnership with SUNY Empire, visit the Community Partnerships page.

If you are interested in becoming a student and your employer or organization is already a partner, contact SUNY Empire for information about enrolling.

SUNY Empire Center for Autism Inclusivity 
To help meet the increasing need for professionals who work with and support individuals with autism, the Center for Autism Inclusivity will develop academic programs that prepare professionals to work with those who have autism and provide career pathways for current professionals to hone and advance their skills.

In addition, the Center will conduct research to support the workforce and provide up-to-date information, as well as education and training to professionals, employers, parents, community organizations, and others who support individuals with autism. 

For more information, visit the Center for Autism Inclusivity page.

Tuition Assistance and Workforce Development Funding

Tuition Assistance

Federal Education Assistance Program

The federal government has taken significant action to extend a temporary and generous tax benefit to employers* to cover educational expenses for employees, which SUNY campuses can leverage to support:

  • Current SUNY students or alumni. Employers can pay up to $5,250 to repay employee student loans, tax-free, to the employee and fully deductible for the employer
    *Section 2206 of the CARES Act amended Code Section 127 to allow an employer to pay for all or part of an employee’s “Qualified Education Loan” as a tax-free benefit, provided that benefit is provided as part of an employer’s education assistance program.

New York State Tuition Assistance Programs and Scholarships

New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)

The New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) helps eligible New York State residents pay tuition at approved schools in New York State. An annual TAP award can be up to $5,665. For more information, visit the NYS Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) page.

New York State Excelsior Scholarship Program The New York State Excelsior Scholarship Program, in combination with other student financial aid programs, allows eligible students to attend a SUNY or CUNY college tuition-free. For more information, visit the NYS Excelsior Scholarship Program page.

SUNY Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) The SUNY Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) provides access, academic support, and financial aid to qualifying students. For more information, visit the SUNY Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) page.

New York State Get on Your Feet Loan Forgiveness Program

The New York State Get on Your Feet Loan Forgiveness Program provides up to 24 months of federal student loan debt relief to eligible NYS college graduates who are participating in a federal income-driven repayment plan. For more information, visit the NYS Get on Your Feet Loan Forgiveness Program page.

New York State DREAM Act

The Senator José Peralta New York State DREAM Act gives undocumented and other students access to New York State‐administered grants and scholarships such as the Excelsior Scholarship and Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) that support higher education costs. For more information, visit the NYS DREAM Act page.

New York State Higher Education Services Corporation Military and Veteran Benefits

The New York State Higher Education Services Corporation provides additional educational and financial aid benefits to military, veterans, and their families. To view the list of benefit programs, visit the NYS Higher Education Services Corporation Military Corner page.


Workforce Development Funding

Workforce Development Initiative

Governor Cuomo’s Workforce Development Initiative (WDI) is investing $175 million for job training projects. Awarded projects under the new WDI Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) will support regional efforts that meet organizations’ short-term workforce needs, long-term industry needs, improve regional talent pipelines, enhance the flexibility and adaptability of local workforce entities, and expand workplace learning opportunities.

For more information about the WDI process and eligibility, visit the Workforce Development Initiative Process page.