Connection
June 2016  
AIM expansion completed

After nearly nine months, work on AIM's 1,625-square-foot addition is now complete. 

The project, which began in early September, connected the two buildings on the property, and expanded the rear building to the east. The bulk of the work was completed by late winter, but crews had to wait for warmer weather to put the finishing touches on the project. 

The expansion was necessary after AIM added approximately a dozen more employees to its Corning office over the past two years, resulting in overcrowding.

"The project increased the functionality of our office immensely, and it improved aesthetics," said John Zick, AIM's director of government and public affairs. "Our employees have always been proud to represent AIM and our consumers, and now we have a headquarters office of which we can be equally proud."  

The addition includes a new conference room, a large room for workstations, several offices, a new restroom, a new staircase, and new ramps. Photos can be found here

Williams Construction; HUNT Engineers, Architects and Surveyors; and Sullivan Professional Landscaping completed the project.  
Meet our staff: Ashley Bump
 
Q: What is your job here at AIM?
A:  I work in Consumer Directed Personal Assistant Services (CDPAS). I help individuals with disabilities, ranging from mental health to physical disabilities, stay in their homes with the assistance of an aide. I work with many different types of individuals who want to remain at home, or want to come out of a nursing or group home. I have a handful of responsibilities, ranging from working with insurance companies to obtain authorizations that are missing, to advocating for individuals, to helping them understand how the program works.
 
Q: What made you want to work in this field?
A:   This is something I have been doing since 2012. I was a personal assistant for three and a half years, working over 52 hours a week. I dropped down to part time, then not long after, I began working full time at the Arc in a group home. In 2015, I applied to AIM and jumped at the opportunity to work at a company that serves individuals with disabilities, especially since I am a huge supporter of giving people the choice to stay home, rather than go to a nursing home or a group home.    
 
Q: What do you love about your job?
A:  I love getting to meet new individuals. I love walking into a home to provide services and seeing someone who has just come home and desperately needs the services, then going back out a year later to see that they have regained the majority of their strength, they're smiling, waving and speaking. Sometimes, I'll go into a home where an individual is completely dependent on another, and I meet their family who is struggling to cope. A year later, I'll go back to find a completely different home.
 
Q: What are some of the difficulties?
A:    One of the hard parts is when I'm unable to help someone the way I want to. I have a difficult time when, due to reasons outside my control, I can't provide services to someone who could benefit from the program. The hardest part for me is seeing how in need someone is, and trying to hold myself together in order to help them in every way I can. I'll admit I've walked out of some houses in tears because there is nothing more I'm able to do for someone, except refer them to an advocate to see if the advocate is able to help in some way.
 
Q: What are some of your interests and hobbies outside of work?
A: Outside of work I have a lot of interests. I have a 4-year-old daughter named Harmonie, so my interests have become teaching and entertaining her for hours on end. We hike a lot, we create a lot of different crafts together. We love swimming, mudding on the four-wheelers, and we also like to read and have quiet time. We love playing with our dogs, hanging out with friends that also have children, having bonfires -- you name it, we do it. Finishing my bachelor's degree was high on my list of priorities, and I finally completed it in May of 2016. I now have a bachelor's of science in health care administration with a concentration in health management. Interestingly, I continue to work in the human services field, even though it is a bit of a departure from what I studied. I've found I can incorporate a lot of my education into the work I am currently doing.
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Other News
Upcoming events
 
AIM Independent Living Center will be hosting a Self-Directed Services family session from 1-3 p.m. June 16 at the EOP building, 650 Baldwin St., Elmira. The informational session is mandatory for anyone pursuing Self-Directed Services. Those wishing to register can contact Kelly McGowan at (607) 962-8225, ext. 110. 

AIM's Youth Social Skills Summer Day Camp in Schuyler County will take place June 27-July 1. Camps in Chemung and Steuben counties will be held later in the summer. The camps are for youths ages 14-21 who have OPWDD eligibility.

The AIM-sponsored HOPE Parent Support Group will meet from 6-8 p.m. June 14 at the EOP building, 650 Baldwin St., Elmira. The meeting will feature a conversation and movie about autism. The guest facilitator will be Gale Cochrane from Bancroft & Associates. For more information, call Wendy Watkins at 962-8225, ext. 223.
Articles
Unemployment rates among people with disabilities trending down

Figures released this month in the U.S. Department of Labor's monthly jobs report reveal that rates of unemployment among Americans with disabilities fell from 10.7 percent in April to 9.7 percent in May. 
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