Employment Connection expresses gratitude to disability employers

baskets-for-employersAs long-term advocates of disability inclusion in the community’s work force, Employment Connection will participate in National Disability Employment Awareness Month by commemorating the local businesses who employ people we support.

Initially, the Agency offered educational opportunities for children with intellectual disabilities through the Children’s Learning Center. Later, As the children grew into adulthood, the Agency began offering vocational and employment opportunities, which led to the Agency’s work centers, SubCon Industries in Olean and Salamanca.
About 20 years ago, the Agency realized the need to offer community employment. While recently the government has called for an end to sheltered work shops and an increase in community employment for people with disabilities, the Agency was already well ahead of those new mandates.

Photo:  Zack, Adam, Darcy, Tim, and Todd (standing behind  Darcy) joined to artfully assemble 25 baskets to deliver to their employers in gratitude for their jobs.


Today, the Agency’s Employment Connection actively prepares people, and finds them in jobs in the community.
As much as it is Employment Connection’s forward-thinking, successful employment is clearly a shared achievement by local employers who took a chance on our people. They are the real heroes to those who are now employed. Without their faith in our people, many might not be living with the high levels of independence and quality of life they enjoy. The number of employers in the area who have hired people through Employment Connection is up to 25.

The Agency is deeply grateful to all of them, which include: SCS, Ponderosa, Holiday Inn, Allegany Country Transit / First Transit, ReHab Center residences at Fall Rd., Henley Rd. and Buffalo Rd., Aramark, Park and Shop, Mazza, Walmart, St. Bonaventure University, Best Western Hotels, Cattaraugus County DSS, Absolute Care, Head Start, Tops Friendly Markets, Healthcare Services at The Pines, St. Mary’s Church, Holiday Valley, City of Olean, Fred’s Contract Cleaning, Burger King, and Pete-As Ria.
This year’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) theme is “#InclusionWorks, and highlights the value of a diverse workforce inclusive of their skills and talents.


Fly Away Giveaway Raffle

Win A Trip or Cash!

GRAND PRIZE – Fly Away Getaway:

(2) Round Trip jetBlue Airline Tickets & $300 Rental Car Certificate

1st Prize: $100    2nd Prize: $50



1 for $5 -or- 3 for $10

Get them at one of our three buildings:
  • Rehabilitation Center Admin Building: 1439 Buffalo Street, Olean, NY 14760
  • Subcon Olean: 338 N 15th St, Olean, NY 14760
  • Allegany Building: 3799 South 9 Mile Rd., Allegany, NY

Can’t stop in but want a ticket?

Contact The Rehabilitation Foundation: foundation@rehabcenter.org

716-375-4720 ext. 562


Drawing will be held on November 5th, 2016 at our Comedy Night Event. You do not need to be present to win. Winner will be contacted by phone and/or e-mail. * Certain Restrictions may apply. Tickets can be used for any domestic location where jetBlue flies*

Rehab Foundation names award, scholarship winners

The Rehabilitation Foundation held its annual Scholarships and Awards Reception last week to support employee professional development.

Mari Howard, CEO, thanked the selection committee which included Jen Eaton Miller who was unable to attend, and Tracy Karl Lebrenz, Lisa Hennig, and Nick Lyons and Kyle Henzel, both Foundation Board members for “their commitment and guidance in making these decisions.” Continue reading…

Garden abundance



Pam Pacer, a supervisor at the Youth Home since 2009, gathers veggies from the Youth Home’s garden. Thanks to a hot summer and lots of TLC from the teen gardeners, this summer’s garden produced an abundance of squash and tomatoes. Continue reading…

Affirming respect


Lisa Powless, who is a DSP III / Behavior Tech at Lifeskills, has worked for the Agency for 13 years.  She began her career at the Children’s Learning Center working with children with Autism. Later, she worked part time until transitioning to full time in December of 2008. She completed certification testing as a registered Behavior Tech in April, 2016.

Continue reading…

Allowing space to grow



Jessica Martin, The Employment Connection’s Community Employment Specialist, supports people’s journey into community employment.

In her role, she is a combination of a job agent, coach and personal cheerleader, urging the people she supports to overcome hurdles to achieve their goals. Sometimes, that  may mean going with changes she doesn’t think are best for the person. But, Jessica feels her work as a Direct Support Professional is to encourage the person to make choices and learn from them. Sometimes they work out, sometimes not.  In this case, it worked out.

“If a job is what they want, I say, ‘Great, let’s get started.’ But, if they want to move on from the job, it’s all about what they want, and I just say, ‘Ok, let’s look for something else,” she said, adding about one particular case in which someone she helped get a job, wanted to leave and work elsewhere, a choice Jessica didn’t favor, but went with it anyway.

“Sometimes it’s tougher to go along with it,” she said. “It’s easy to think we know what’s best, but then they have to make their own choices and learn from them. In this case it turned out fine.”

As a good parent has to let their child experience the consequences of their choices, that’s also true for the people she supports.

She feels it’s important for a person’s self esteem and empowerment to grow from mistakes and learn to overcome their own challenges. Each one gives them the confidence to embrace another hurdle and with each success comes greater self-esteem.

Power of the mind


Alyssa Richardson began her career with the Agency at the Children’s Learning Center.
Since, she has worked for several of the residences as a Direct Support Professional, including Hinsdale, Fall Road, Buffalo Road, Five Mile,  and now at Prospect Avenue where she’s worked since December, 2015. She is now med certified and working on a degree in nursing.
Continue reading…

Comedy Night!

Who’s Ready to Laugh for a Good Cause?

Thank you to all who joined us for 2016 Comedy Night. Hope to see you next year!

A Jason Clemons Salon
Allen’s Wine & Liquor
One Group
BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York
Bryans and Gramuglia CPAs, LLC
Community Bank, N.A.
Comfort Zone
Kessel Construction
Mazza Mechanical Services, Inc.
Peterson Roofing Co., Inc.
Valley Tire Company
Dan Horn Pharmacy and Health Services
Orthodontists Associates of Western New York
Olean Times Herald
J. G. Stein General Dentistry
Kinley Corporation
Nephrology Services Medical Group of Olean & Bradford

Pathways mentors plan for success

Pathways mentors plan for success


Don Salter’s internship working at the Best Western Plus hotel in downtown Olean helped him discover what it’s like to work in an active downtown hotel. As part of The Rehabilitation Center’s Pathway to Employment program, he stepped into all aspects of the hospitality business to determine if that’s the kind of work he’d like to do on a permanent basis.

Pathway to Employment, funded by OPWDD, is one of the agency’s new person-centered vocational programs that offers individuals the opportunity to explore a variety of jobs, identify preferred careers, and develop a plan for obtaining employment in their community.  Individuals enrolled in the program participate in career exploration, discovery, and job readiness training to enhance their personal skills and create a path to success in the workplace. Continue reading…

SubCon Honors Employees’ Service

nancy's photo

The 34th annual SubCon Years of Service and Awards Banquet, held last Tuesday in St. Bonaventure University’s Hickey Dining Hall, was another year to remember.

More than 200 people attended the event that honored employees with SubCon Industries and the Employment Connection in five-year increments and those with outstanding work achievements. Continue reading…

Rehab Center CEO among WNY’s Power 100 Women

Mari Howard among WNY’S Power 100 Women

The Rehabilitation Center is proud to announce that Mari Howard, president and CEO of both The ReHabilitation Center – NYSARC Cattaraugus, and Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara, was named among Buffalo Business First’s Power 100 Women in Western New York. The cover story is in the July 29, 2016 issue.

Mari 100 power women for SN
Continue reading…

Bridging barriers to care-giving

Bridging barriers to care-giving

Julian Martinez 7Julian Martinez draws from a well of wisdom to connect with the young people he mentors at the Community Residence in Olean.

His unique supportive style could stem from Plato who advised teaching through play, or 20th Century psychologist, Carl Jung, who said creativity draws from “the play instinct rather than the intellect.”

Julian’s intentionally open, non-anxious, presence elicits a playful response from the teenagers he supports. It also builds a trusting relationship based on mutual respect and the warm rapport they share. It was Julian’s on-call work as a Direct Support Professional at Five Mile Residence earlier in
his career that set him on this course.  Once challenged about his ability to support
residents who needed a greater level of care, he has since learned that laughter and play are key to supportive bond-building.Julian's quote

“At first, when I had to help someone in the bathroom, I didn’t know if I could do this work,” he said, recalling an experience which caused him to doubt his ability to give someone a shower.

Continue reading…

Spoon-bending vents teen angst


A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away . . . Suzi wanted a spoon ring. But, the cost of the precious jewelry was a deterrent to its purchase.

Spoon bending 6Then, Angie had an idea. She realized she could make one, even purchase all the tools to make it, at a much lower cost than purchasing it. So, she did.

In fact, she not only made a spoon ring for Suzie, but she made hundreds, maybe thousands, of them for almost anyone who wanted one. And, thus, they grew their business, “Our Twisted Tree,” which includes other items born similarly out of the imagination of both women.

Continue reading…

Dine Out & Donate – Friday Chicken BBQ


At Tredway’s Famous Chicken BBQ on September 23rd

Tredway’s Pit Stop  – 904 West State Street Olean, NY

You dine out. They donate! Purchase a chicken dinner on Friday, September 23rd from Tredway’s Pit Stop, and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Rehabilitation Foundation!

$10 Includes: 

1/2 chicken dinner, two homemade sides, roll and butter 

Side choices : applesauce, tomato/cucumber salad, macaroni salad, potato salad, salt potatoes, BBQ beans, coleslaw. 

Pre-sale tickets are encouraged, and include a ticket for our *dine-out door prize!

Purchase Pre-sale Tickets Below -or- at one of the following locations:

Rehab Admin: 1439 Buffalo Street, Olean  Rehab Allegany: 3799 South Nine Mile Rd., Allegany

Rehab Subcon: 338 N. 15th Street, Olean   Tredway’s: 904 W. State Street, Olean

Order Pick-up is from 11am-4pm at Tredway’s Pit Stop. Regular take-out orders are available from 11am until sold out! 

Fill out my online form.

Delivery is available for large group orders in the immediate area. Please contact us directly to place those orders.

*Our dine out door prize includes either a basket of picnic goodies, or items and certificates from local businesses!

Questions: foundation@rehabcenter.org   I  716-375-4730 ext. 562

Any purchase of a chicken dinner on Friday, September 23rd contributes to the Rehabilitation Foundation, and helps to support people with disabilities in the local area. Thank you for your support! Learn more here

Prevocational Services assists Interfaith Caregivers with mailing

Prevocational Services assists

Interfaith Caregivers with mailing

Theresa, Megan, Andy and Adam at InterfaithIt’s a win-win for everyone.

The ReHab Center’s Community Prevocational Services program helps people learn valuable on-the-job skills while volunteering for a participating non-profit organization. This synergistic relationship helps gets a job done that serves the greater good of the community.

Case in point.  Adam Panebianco and Andy Gillespie, who are in the Community Prevocational Services program recently helped Interfaith Caregivers in Allegany complete a mailing to raise funds on behalf of Adopt -A-Ride. Continue reading…

A life rich with ideas

tim for blog storyA life rich with ideas

He’s beloved by the staff at Allegany’s Lifeskills. It could be that he’s a delightful philosopher, a deep thinker with a dry wit.

While Tim Barber lives with some challenges, his support within the agency helps him find ways to live his life the way he wants it to be.

“We want people to feel engaged and empowered,” Kim Baker Behavioral Health Services Manager and Tim’s advocate, said.

“We help people identify their strengths, and then, to apply those strengths to their interests.” Continue reading…

Foundation funds Care Coordinator at YMCA to meet ‘people where they’re at’

cutline for Patty Blue sstryEach year, millions of Americans face the challenges of living with a severe mental illness. The facts are staggering: 2.6 million are bipolar, 16 million live with major depression, and 42 million have anxiety disorders.

When a young Olean mother ended her own life after struggling for 10 years with bipolar disorder and depression, her mother, Barb Sweitzer, who works with the YMCA of the USA, knew something had to be done to address this disease.

“It is a challenge to find a balance between the state of depression and a manic state,” she said. “When a balance is found, people can lead a normal and productive life.” Continue reading…

Hiring Event!

Hiring Event!

We’re hiring people who care about people.  In fact, we have several openings for Direct Support Professionals to work in any one of our 18 residences.  Your job might entail cooking with the residents, enjoying the laughter and joy of being in a family-like environment or an overnight shift keeping a watchful eye on the home.

If you’re a caring person and want to make a difference in someone’s life, stop by our hiring event, fill out an application and you’ll get an interview on the spot. Our Hiring Event is from 9 am to 2 pm Monday, July 18 at the ReHab Center’s Administration Building, 1439 Buffalo St., Olean.

You can also send your resume ahead to dclark@rehabcenter.org to get a head start.
Continue reading…

Fitness in the Park Olean – First Event Success!

ReHab Center’s ‘Fitness in the Park’ draws crowd to Zumba

Olean, NY – The ReHab Center and City of Olean’s first of five “Fitness in the Park” Zumba classes drew more than 50 people to Gargoyle Park yesterday.  The classes are led by Lilian Dirito who has her own practice for Zumba and health and wellness in Ellicottville.

They were all ages and levels of fitness, but all were enthusiastic about the unique opportunity to dance together outside on a beautiful Olean summer evening.
Continue reading…

Foundation donations help child with autism

rehabcenteroleanny-6He was a preemie who was growing as a healthy child. By the time Odin was 19 months old, he was verbal, walking, and on his way to a normal childhood.

Then, for unknown reasons, he suddenly regressed and was diagnosed with autism.

His mom and dad, Elida and Alex Green, can’t say exactly what caused Odin’s sudden regression. At his well-baby visit he was fine. After that, for no known reason, he became non-verbal.
Continue reading…

Weekday Jackpot Drawing Winners

Drawing to win cashThanks to all participated in our 2016 Weekday Jackpot Drawing!

The Weekday Jackpot gives you 51 chances to win $100-$1,000 for $25! The 2016 Jackpot has ended, but stay posted to get your 2017 tickets! Proceeds from the Weekday Jackpot Drawing benefit The ReHab Foundation Learn More Here.

2016 Winners:

$1,000 July 4th Winner

Laura McGovern

Week 10: June 27th – July 1st

Monday $100 Mallory Singleton
Tuesday $100 Joan Mitchell
Wednesday $100 W. J. Schwabenbauer
Thursday $100 Holly Nidell
Friday $500 Jerri Cygan / Keith Custer

Continue reading…

Angie Ritchie is a HERO!

angieAngie Ritchie, pictured left, has just been named a local hero by the Child Mind Institute’s 2016 Change Maker Awards.

The Change Maker Awards celebrate people that are creating real, meaningful change for children struggling with mental health and learning disorders. Angie is a parent to seven children and has fostered 15 children.

She is the agency’s supervisor of Family Support Services and is a family peer advocate. Way to go, Angie! You rock big time!



Seafood Fest 2016 nets big catch

Olean’s brightest stars came out Friday night, April 1, to support The Rehabilitation Foundation’s elegant Seafood Fest 16 which reeled in a whopping catch of more than 220 attendees.

Seafood Fest 16 026As Dan Carter’s auction chant rang out in the glittering candlelight of The Old Library Restaurant, dozens of individuals and corporations responded generously by purchasing lobsters and porterhouse steaks for hundreds of dollars. Together they dug deep and gave unsparingly to the important work of The ReHab Center throughout Cattaraugus, Allegany and Chautauqua counties benefitting hundreds of people with disabilities.

Continue reading…

Agency Initiates Council on Quality Leadership certification process

The ReHabilitation Center has initiated a significant effort to complete a comprehensive self-assessment process in preparation for an onsite review by the Council on Quality Leadership, CQL, in late fall of 2016.

Twenty different groups have been actively meeting to assess all operational indicators encompassed in the CQL Basic As­surances and Shared Values. Continue reading…

Ways to Donate

Determining what gift is right for you is just as important as making the gift. Our hope is to work with you to determine what you wish to accomplish for yourself, your family and your charitable interests.

Make an Online Donation

If you would like The ReHab Foundation to contact you about personalized giving options, please contact us or call 716-375-4730 ext. 562

Annual Campaign

Your tax-deductible donation to our annual fund, allows the Rehabilitation Foundation to continue providing financial assistance to the Rehab Center’s supports, services and people, as they need it.

Donate to our Annual Fund

Gift in Tribute / Memorial

Celebrate a special occasion, honor family members and friends, remember special people or offer condolences with a gift to the Foundation. Your gift is tax deductible in accordance with the law.

Make an Online Gift in Tribute

Abigail V. Dulmus Holiday Endowment

This restricted fund within the endowment at the Rehabilitation Foundation has been Abbydesignated to provide an income to support annual holiday celebrations within the continuing day treatment programs Abby attended. In November 2008 the Abigail V. Dulmus Holiday Celebration Endowment was created by her family with an initial donation. This fund supports two things that she particularly loved – holidays and friends. The fund provides financial support for an array of CDT holiday celebrations throughout the year including Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Abby’s family chose this specific purpose because they knew how much joy she received from each and every holiday celebration and thought it would be a wonderful and fun way to honor her memory, and allow all of us to continue celebrating for her.

The beauty of this endowment is that Abby’s memory will continue in perpetuity to ensure a measure of celebration at holiday times that might not otherwise occur within these programs due to not-for-profit funding constraints. These modest holiday celebrations have a great meaning to those in Abby’s programs.

Donate Online to the Abby Fund

Barby Ried

Planned Giving

Please contact the Foundation directly to discuss planned giving opportunities. foundation@rehabcenter.org or 716375-4730 ext. 562


A bequest provides a gift to the Foundation  in your will. Donors who remember The ReHabilitation Foundation in their wills, allow us to continue to support The ReHab Center’s programs and services that go unfunded. A bequest is a simple way to provide for our future and can be done in many ways. You may arrange for us to receive:

  • a specific dollar amount
  • specified assets, such as securities or property
  • all or a percentage of the remainder of your estate after all other obligations (a residuary bequest)

Make an Online Donation

Barby Ried Social Fund at the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation

This fund was established in memory of Barbara “Barby” Ried, a longtime SubCon employee.

One of Barby’s favorite parts of SubCon was attending the holiday parties and social events, inspiring her siblings’ decision to establish this fund after her passing in June of 2016. The Barby Ried Social Fund will provide annual grants, of up to $1,000 per year, to the SubCon division for holiday/social/entertainment activities and events to enhance the working experience of SubCon employees.

Donate - Barby Ried Social Fund CRCF

We appreciate your generosity! Your gift allows us to carry out our mission of enhancing the lives of people with disabilities in the Cattaraugus, Allegany and Chautauqua County areas, every day. Learn More

Foundation Continues to Make “Dreams Come True”

Foundation Making Dreams Come True -2Ronan Balcom is a happy and active two-year-old little boy. Ronan’s life started a bit early – he was born at 36 weeks and was a preemie.

Eighteen months later, Ronan was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Cerebral Palsy. He was also recently diagnosed with hyperkinesis and apraxia of speech. Despite all this, he doesn’t let very much slow him down, as you can see by the smile on his face.
Continue reading…

Family Peer Support Services awarded two scholarships

Scholarship Award

Children and their families watch a live glass-making demonstration at the Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, NY.

Family Peer Support Services achieved a double win at the Rehabilitation Foundation’s annual Scholarship and Awards Reception on August 19, 2015.

It earned both the Roger Hennig Memorial Art Enrichment Grant and The Patrick J., Jr. & Rita L. Carroll Memorial Award for its innovative use of art to support families of children and youth with mental health issues.
Continue reading…