News at RCIL
Issue 2                                                                            April 2017
Snow Storm Stella Challenges RCIL

March is known for its wild weather and terrible storms, but Stella was in a league of her own.  More than 2 feet of snow fell during the workday on March 14th, trapping cars in the parking lots and making the roads impassable.  Several RCIL employees stayed at local hotels to wait out the storm in safety.  
Pictured is the parking lot behind the RCIL main office and our intrepid warriors, Jeff Waterman and Caleb Bause, shoveling cars out of the snow.  Kevin LaClair at the Smith Center and Craig Smith were also battling the elements to help everyone get home.
Main Street Receives Funding from Stewarts Shops
Created in 2008 in response to a need for additional services and supports for at-risk youth in our area, t he Main Street Program at RCIL provides a set of intensive supports for individuals ages 8 to 21 in Oneida and Herkimer Counties to help them to avoid out-of-home placements and interactions with the juvenile justice system, and to help them remain in school and earn appropriate credentials.  Tito Seoane, the Main Street Youth Advocate, works with the young participants and their families to develop and implement Transitional Support Service Plans for success at work, in school, at home, and in the community.  
The key to the success of the Main Street program is the personalized attention each participant receives.  Transition plans are tailored to fit the needs and resources of the participants and their families.  By working with other community partner agencies, the schools, and the natural supports available to each person, Main Street has helped hundreds of our young neighbors to move from uncertain futures to successful adulthood.

This $500 donation from the Stewarts Shops Holiday Match Program will provide direct assistance to those participants.

Life After High School
On March 9th, the Learning Disability Association of the Mohawk Valley, LDAMV, held its annual Life After High School conference at the Radisson.  John Robinson, founder of Our Ability, Inc., was the Keynote Speaker and had the entire audience of students with disabilities,  their parents, and educational professionals riveted to their seats.

Each year the conference brings its partner agencies together to present the supports and services available to more than one hundred students with disabilities, their families, and other community members.  Students preparing to transition from high school into the world of work and life as adults learn about assistance for employment, life skills, and post-secondary education.
Our Ability is the only disability owned and operated business dedicated to building employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities through custom job platforms, employment webinars, digital profile system, and personal empowerment.

As the CEO and Founder of Our Ability, John Robinson provides inclusive workforce and employment consulting, mentoring, workshops, keynotes ,and seminars on disability and diversity.

For information about LDAMV and the Life After High School annual conference, call Margaret Gallaway, Program Director, at 315-797-4642 ext. 2964.
  John Robinson, Keynote Speaker
Bethany Walker,  Margaret Gallaway, and  Evelyn Clark 
Advocating for Utica's Newest Americans
Led by Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi,  representatives from RCIL's community partner, the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees, advocated for a $12 million package of funding that would help alleviate some of the issues agencies would face that are created by the federal administration’s most recent travel ban. The travel ban will negatively impact resettlement agencies as they are allocated funding based on the amount of people the agencies resettle. The ban, consequently, would halt resettlement, leading to loss of services and staff layoffs. Parts of Upstate New York, particularly Utica, can be considered a microcosm of the United States, which was built on the ideas of inclusiveness and hope. RCIL has undertaken a number of initiatives to reach this population and provide long term supports and services to our new neighbors with disabilities and supports the advocacy efforts of our local representatives and the MVRCR.
 The Real School of Rock

Brittany Youker, Start-Up/Launch Coordinator for the Self Direction Program, brings us the story of the real School of Rock and how it helps people with disabilities.  Brittany's first launch was for a boy who had been confined to his home prior to his enrollment in the Self Direction program.  Through the program, a participant and his or her family members can choose supports and services intended to help improve quality of life for individuals with developmental disabilities.  This young man and his family chose music lessons with Mike at the School of Rock.  

As Brittany puts it, "Since School Of Rock was introduced in this participant's life, he has become more uplifted, has been able to communicate better, and has finally found a reason to feel self-pride. I have been working hand-in-hand with musical trainer Mike through School Of Rock for the last couple of months to ensure that the boy is enjoying his time spent in the program. Mike sends me updates to let me know how the participant is doing, and the story just gets better and better! 😊

"It may be easy to focus on just getting people launched in my department. However, stories like this bring me back and remind me of our mission here at RCIL. We really do make such a difference in all of our participants’ lives, and I could not be more proud of Matthew and his achievements."

The Self Direction program provides supports and services to individuals with developmental disabilities that help them to remain in the community and avoid institutional placement. We all share Brittany's pride in the value of RCIL programs to the lives of our participants.  

For more information about Self Direction, please call RCIL at 315-797-4642. 

Many Hearts, One Purpose . . . Dining for a Cause
Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Volunteers Needed

 RCIL’s fundraiser Many Hearts, One Purpose … Dining for a Cause will directly benefit elderly individuals in Herkimer and Oneida Counties who would not otherwise be able to afford to attend the RCIL Adult Day Services program. This valuable program provides participants with personal care, social activities, door-to-door transportation, field trips, an outdoor garden, nutritious snacks, breakfast, and a hot lunch.   

 In addition to enjoying an evening of fine cuisine prepared by some of our beloved local celebrity chefs - like Tim Hardiman from Tailor and the Cook, Mike Latreille, from Michael’s Fine Food & Spirits, Mike Mirabelli from Ocean Blue, Albert Zeina from Zeina’s, Jason ­Allen-Leonard from BITE Bakery, and Linda Irwin from Irwin’s Fine Foods - attendees will enjoy a silent auction and live bidding on exclusive custom-created auction items with guest MC, Dana Jerrard.

 It is with great excitement that RCIL invites you to participate in this event! There are many different volunteer opportunities ranging from making auction item appeals to helping out the night of the event. If you are interested in volunteering, or know someone who may be interested in sponsoring this event, please contact Diana Noviasky at 315-797-4642 ext. 2986 or Georgianna Sanges at 315-797-4642 ext. 2987.

Careers at RCIL
Here are Georgie Sanges, Marketing Associate at RCIL, and Nate Discavage, Recruiter, spreading the word about the supports and services offered by the agency and recruiting potential employees at SUNY Poly.  As RCIL continues to grow, new positions are opening all the time.  For anyone seeking employment in a dynamic organization that is moving confidently into the future, please see open positions on our website, RCIL, or call the Human Resources department and ask for the Recruiter, Nate Discavage.  
Welcome to the Finance Department
 As the home of the RCIL Finance Department, the third floor of our 409 Columbia Street building is bustling with Billing, Budget Analysis, Accounts Payable, Purchasing, Grants and Contracts, Payroll, Fiscal Intermediary Services, and the Self Direction Account Clerks.  Wendy Gagliardo, Chief Financial Officer, oversees this enormous department and ensures that everything flows smoothly and everyone gets paid.  Agency finances are subject to state and federal regulations and are audited by an independent firm every year.  The Finance Committee of the RCIL Board of Directors reviews the agency finances at each monthly meeting and approves the annual budget as presented by the Chief Financial Officer.

With the tremendous growth of the agency over the past few years, Ms. Gagliardo has a huge job.  In order for Deb Roberts and the Billing Clerks to do their jobs, all employee reporting must be entered accurately and on time.  Budgets are created and managed by Kristin Case and the Budget Analysts for all areas of the agency including the fee-for-service and grant-funded programs with all reporting being prepared, reviewed and then submitted by our Bookkeeper, Fran Nolan, and all payments received/receipted by Demone MarjiCindi Patafie and the Accounts Payable staff receive all invoices, make sure the paperwork is correct, and pay the bills.  Purchasing Clerk, Maura Carlson, is responsible for making all agency purchases from new computers and desks to pens and paper.  Grant proposals are written and submitted by Karen Six and more than 200 contracts are handled each year by Colleen Geer.  Diane VanName and the Payroll staff review all of the time sheets and entries and make sure that everyone gets paid the correct amount at the right time.  Fiscal Intermediary services for the Olmstead Housing Program are handled by Becky Reyes who coordinates the payment of rent and other housing subsidies for the state-wide program.  A bunch of Account Clerks spend their work days managing over 1,000 Self Direction budgets, making sure that all of the paperwork is on file and accurate.

The Finance Department is a key support department at RCIL and the one that keeps all of the other departments and programs moving forward.  As RCIL grows, the Finance Department expands to meet the needs and has grown tremendously over the past few years.  

Mental Health First Aid Trainings

Mental Health First Aid is the help offered to a person developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. The first aid is given until appropriate treatment and support are received or until the crisis resolves.

Friday, April 21st 8:30 – 12:30pm

Monday, April 24th 8:30 – 12:30pm

First Floor AHIC Training Room, Columbia Street, Utica


 Friday, May 5th 8:30 – 12:30pm

Monday, May 8th 8:30 -12:30pm

First Floor AHIC Training Room, Columbia Street, Utica

If you are interested in attending one of these two classes, please discuss it with your supervisor and contact Diane Guckemus, ext. 1655 directly to register.