UES food service program prepares individuals for competitive employment

Unity House’s Unity Employment Services recently received a grant from the New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities to kick-start a new CSVT program where participants learn food service skills to prepare them for competitive employment.

Unity House’s Career-Specific Vocational Training (CSVT) food service program has been learning knife handling skills at the Center For Learning at Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES in Auburn.

“The feedback from the participants has been overwhelmingly positive. They absolutely love the program,” said Unity Employment Services Program Director Amanda McManus. “Our staff have worked tirelessly to get this program up and running, and are happy to report that it has been a success so far.”

This CSVT program was made possible by a grant from New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD).

After identifying a funding gap in the service system related to employing individuals with disabilities, state funds were allocated to develop and deliver CSVT training based on industry and business standards.

As a result of the pandemic, the number of unemployed individuals in OPWDD’s supported employment services doubled.

Of the approximately 16,000 people with disabilities receiving employment and vocational services, 3,000 individuals in Supported Employment were unemployed at the start of 2023 and 4,000 individuals were in vocational services that prepare people for competitive employment.