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Ann Marie T. Sullivan, M.D., Acting Commissioner
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Office of Mental Health Letterhead

Model Job-Matching and Employment Supports System

New System will Revolutionize Employment Supports for New Yorkers With Disabilities and Generate Millions for Disability-Related
Employment Services and Supports

Officials from the federal Social Security Administration (SSA) were in Albany, New York today to announce that New York State’s newly-created New York Employment Services System (NYESS) ( Leaving OMH site) has been designated as the first statewide Employment Network (EN) in the United States.  ENs are designated by SSA to assist people with disabilities find competitive jobs. As a statewide EN, NYESS creates a real time network of providers working with multiple state agencies using a single, real-time employment data / case management system.  NYESS provides access for people with disabilities to the mainstream employment supports available to all New Yorkers, and coordinates these supports so New Yorkers with disabilities have the opportunity to work, pay taxes, and achieve economic self-sufficiency.  This statewide effort will also generate millions of dollars in incentive payments, to be reinvested in expanded job supports for people with disabilities.

Robert Williams, SSA Associate Commissioner, Office of Employment Support Programs, said, “New York’s NYESS system is the first truly comprehensive employment services system of its kind in the country.  This transformative development allows SSA the ability to collaborate directly with New York to document employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities holding a Ticket To Work and demonstrate the effectiveness of the Ticket To Work program.  New York and its NYESS system should serve as a model to the rest of the nation."

New York State (NYS) Office of Mental Health (OMH) Commissioner Michael Hogan said, “We appreciate SSA's leadership, which sees New York's potential to provide work opportunities for all people with disabilities. For too long, for people with disabilities, getting federal disability status became an end in itself.  Unintentionally, it has too often led to a life in poverty, without work, and with excess use of health care services.  We see an alternative where people can achieve a working life with increased income, fulfillment, and independence.”

NYS Department of Labor (DOL) Commissioner Colleen C. Gardner said, “This first-rate, interagency partnership will improve employment opportunities for New Yorkers with disabilities and help transform their lives.  Working together, we will help New Yorkers reach self-sufficiency, enjoy the fulfillment and satisfaction of work, and participate in New York’s economic recovery.”

SSA’s Ticket To Work program ( Leaving OMH site) provides financial incentives to employment service providers who qualify as ENs. ENs generate “milestone payments” when they help people with SSA benefits get jobs. Employment providers have the capacity to help their clients find work, but have been challenged to provide documentation of their former clients' continued employment.  NYESS solves this problem.

Additionally, NYESS connects job seekers in a timely fashion with employment opportunities posted by businesses in the NYS Job Bank ( Leaving OMH site), using the One-Stop Operating System (OSOS) case management system maintained by DOL.  In addition, NYESS coordinates access to all employment services and supports offered in NYS, regardless of the state agency system providing/funding such supports.  Providers of employment-related supports and services licensed by or contracted with the State Education Department’s Adult Career and Continuing Education Services – Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR), Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped (CBVH), Office for the Aging (NYSOFA), Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS), Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), DOL and OMH began using NYESS in the first phase, in December 2011.

NYESS compiles data from multiple agencies to create a single system of employment-related information that: (1) will be transparent, allowing job seekers to make informed decisions about the providers that can best meet their needs; (2) will drive competition among employment service providers, benefitting consumers and taxpayers; (3) will automate the documentation that is necessary for ENs to claim milestone payments for helping Ticket To Work holders become employed. 

Among the many benefits, NYESS will:

  • Centralize information to coordinate employment supports among multiple providers and across multiple systems, eliminating duplicative services while allowing individual provider expertise;
  • Help individual job seekers to assess their skills, assist with resume development, and match them with business job opportunities requiring the skills they possess;
  • Assist with entitlements screening and enrollment, making this time consuming process much more efficient;
  • Generate tax credit claiming documentation for businesses that hire individuals with disabilities through the system;
  • Generate Ticket To Work milestone payments for people with disabilities who obtain jobs, resources that can be reinvested to provide more employment supports; and
  • Provide public access to employment-related performance reports; and
  • Effectively eliminate the "siloed" systems of employment services provided/funded by state agencies, providing individuals with disabilities access to the mainstream system that other, non-disabled New Yorkers already use to find a job, and in which businesses already post their job openings.