State funds support Cayuga Centers workforce development

Dec 19, 2017

Cayuga Centers’ Direct Support Professional workforce development/training grant was fully funded for $52,992, according to an announcement yesterday in Albany by Governor Andrew Cuomo. Part of the New York State Regional Development awards for Central NY, the grant will enhance the agency’s existing training by building upon transferable skillsets of employees in low- and middle-skills positions. Data show access to education, professional training, and workforce skills are contributors to increased economic status. This training will create a more proficient and trauma-informed workforce, one equipped with transferable skills necessary to climb into middle-skills and high-skills positions within Cayuga Centers and in the health/human services field.

Edward Myers Hayes, President, and CEO said, “This funding will allow Cayuga Centers to continue developing career paths and important trainings for our Direct Support Professionals.  As one of the largest employers in Cayuga County, we strive to provide industry leading pay, benefits and training to our staff. This, in turn, provides the knowledge and proficiency to best support the youth and families served by Cayuga Centers.

Training will be provided in the form of seven skills development courses, each based on program needs as well as the skills required for low and middle skills employees to progress in the health/human services industry. Courses were selected following a detailed analysis of the competencies and attributes required of high skills positions within the agency. While a number of the courses will encompass all direct support professional employees, some will be geared to address specific skills needed within individual program areas. Therefore, course completion will equip employees with the tools required for long-term retention and ultimately, advancement.

Training course subjects will include Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Trauma Informed Care, Human Trafficking Identification, Professionalism in the Workplace, Team Coordination, Professional Boundaries and Health Services Language and Documentation.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy and Trauma Informed Care training courses will leverage the vast
experience and knowledge of Cayuga Centers’ clinicians, therapists, and medical staff. Both courses will be developed using evidence-based and leading-edge practices in the health and human services field. As a result, trainees will have the capability to recognize trauma related triggers and to better understand the complex needs of the youth served. The successful completion of these evidence-based courses will set our employees apart from their counterparts within the same industry.

The Identification of Human Trafficking and the ability to comprehensively treat victims has become an exceedingly important component of Cayuga Centers’ services. Human Trafficking Identification training will also utilize the experience and knowledge of the agency’s professional staff members and will provide employees with best practices in supporting youth who have been victimized. The growing existence of human trafficking is an unfortunate reality and comprehensive training on the subject will become exceedingly valuable for those within the health and human services field.

Team Coordination Training, Professionalism in the Workplace, Professional Boundaries, and Health Services Language and Documentation have each been identified by program directors and agency leadership as skills required for career progression within the field. These courses will be geared towards employees who are newer to the workforce and will address the unique requirements of modern-day health and human services employees.

As an agency that offers programs licensed and certified by the New York State Office of Children and Families (OCFS) and New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), the agency provides required trainings, courses and recertifications to its employees. This grant affords the opportunity to enhance training beyond mandated requirements, to provide a wide array of transferable skills recognized as essential throughout the health/human services industry, and provide employees with the opportunity to expand their skill sets and ultimately advance in their career.

The agency conducts ongoing recruitment for direct support positions including residential Group Care Workers and respite and day habilitation Direct Support Professionals at

Cayuga Centers, headquartered in Auburn, NY, serves children and families throughout New York State, Palm Beach County, Florida, and Delaware offering a variety of evidence-based programs, residential and foster care treatment, and services for persons with developmental disabilities. Cayuga Centers, with over 600 employees, has a $67 million budget.


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