The Kessler Foundation of West Orange, N.J. has awarded a $484,452 Signature Employment grant to the National Disability Institute of Washington, D.C., to launch an initiative to train and place more than 70 people with disabilities in jobs at New York credit unions.
The project, “BEST (Building Economic Strength Together) Employees N.Y.,” will provide individuals who have disabilities with 20 hours of training in credit union operations, culture and history, its sponsors said.
“The candidates are getting basic training enough to be familiar with a credit union operation, and be placed in a credit union where they can get more on-the-job training,” said Elaine Katz, vice president of Grants and Special Initiatives at Kessler Foundation. In a similar program in New Jersey, candidates worked in bank teller positions and in marketing and secretarial jobs.
The Credit Union Association of New York is participating in the program with the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions in New York and other state agencies. CUANY will recruit its credit union members to participate in the program and then match trained applicants with job openings at credit unions, according to the Kessler Foundation, the program sponsors said.
“Individuals with disabilities are often an untapped resource in the workforce. When given the opportunity, they have the skills to greatly contribute to an organization,” Katz said. “Kessler Foundation is particularly interested in this project because consumer confidence in credit unions continues to increase, leading to growth in the credit union sector.”