Have a job. Earn an income. Be a valued citizen. Since the early 1960s, we have helped people recognize their talents, explore new interests and find meaningful employment. We work together to unlock potential and set goals.



Our employment program serves a variety of individuals who need assistance with job placement. If you have a disability or were referred to us through ACESS-VR, we can help you find a career that will utilize your skills and satisfy your needs.


Many individuals with college degrees or professional work experience use our employment services to discover a new profession or further their existing one. If you do not have a degree or experience, we will provide job training and then assist you with developing specific employment goals, working with you to secure a job and provide assistance in meeting your work requirements, when needed.


You will receive resume critiques and letter writing assistance, guidance on your interview skills and recommendations on how to conduct your job search. Our staff will provide expert consulting on the nuances of employment, support on-the-job progress and assist with concerns.


Entering the Work Force

If you have learned a trade, received training in office skills or completed an internship, we can help you convert these skills into your first job. No skills or training? We can still help you secure your first job. Our employment program works with a large variety of businesses throughout Greene, Ulster and Putnam counties that employ first time workers, some with experience and some who receive on-the-job training.


Our program does more than just find you a job; we help you learn all of the skills necessary to become the ideal candidate. With our help you will:


  • Explore new interests and vocations
  • Participate in continuing education classes and develop necessary skills
  • Develop specific employment goals
  • Learn about resume and letter writing
  • Practice your interview skills
  • Research job opportunities
  • Create links within your community and meet local employers
  • Learn the local bus routes and determine the best ways to travel

A job coach may be designated to guide you through this process, counsel you on proper workplace conduct, assist with concerns and help you learn the ropes at your very first job. You will also learn how to educate your employer about disabilities and to advocate for accommodations that allow you to perform your best. We will help you build relationships with your co-workers and effectively manage your new income.


Job Exploration

If you are unsure whether employment is right for you, we encourage you to explore a variety of job opportunities. Through our discovery process, you will build your social skills, explore numerous jobs, shadow employees, obtain a volunteer job and ultimately gain valuable experience for your resume. This process will help you determine what type of job and commitment is right for you, whether it is a paid position or volunteer opportunity in your community.


Employment Training Program (ETP) Internships in Putnam County

The Employment Training Program (ETP) internships provide an opportunity for individuals to participate to enhance and learn skills through an on-the-job work experience and job readiness training sessions.  Internships last about 18 months and during this time, the employer can assess the intern’s performance and the intern can demonstrate that they are a valued and productive member of the organization.

During the internship. The intern’s wages are paid by OPWDD special Employment Programs.  This unique approach allows an intern to work at a job that might otherwise be unobtainable as it is difficult for businesses to pay wages while someone is learning a job skill

It is evident that OPWDD is committed to assisting the individuals we serve to seek, acquire and maintain employment.  However, this program goes a step further and assists individuals in creating the job that they want in an organization that has a need for those skills.  The program acts as a liaison between the individual and the employer to continually align their respective needs.  This is accomplished in coordination with service providers and through the program’s design which includes creation of a specific job description, specific duties, specific goals, and a formal progress review each quarter with the employer and intern to assure open communication.

Customizing and carving of established positions is integral to successfully match an intern and an opportunity.  This means that before a job is developed for an intern, their interests, skills, and preferences have been discussed in detail.  Once this occurs, a job developer assists with identifying potential jobs.  One of the primary goals of the program is to assure that the job identified matches the intern’s stated goals to the greatest extent possible and that it will lead to competitive employment.

An additional component of the intern program is to facilitate the identification of job supports needed by the individual intern based on the job description developed. Initially, interns are provided with significant job support while they are becoming acclimated to a new work environment, learning new skills and adapting already-learned skills.  Through these supports, interns are able to master skills, establish working relationships with other employees and learn to navigate through the complexities of an organization.  After a period of time, natural supports may take place of some of the more formal job supports.

The Employment Training Program can be summarized as being a training for employment program.   It is designed to provide all of the ingredients for an intern to achieve successful employment over the long term.  As a result, OPWDD is helping people live richer lives by providing an opportunity to create meaningful relationships at work, grow, and develop as an employee and a person and become an active participant in a business in their community.



For more information, Please contact:



Angela Winiarski

Assistant Director of Pre-Employment Services

845.225.5650, ext. 1123