Representative Chris Jacobs met with Arc GLOW leadership Monday and toured the agency’s Day Habilitation Center on Barrville Road in Elba. During the tour, he had a chance to meet individuals with disabilities who attend the program there and greet some of the staff.
Following the tour, Jacobs spent over an hour with Arc GLOW leadership including Chief Executive Officer, Martin Miskell, Board President Cheryl Englert, and Board Vice President Debrah Fischer.
CEO Martin Miskell shared news of the recent merger of Arc of Genesee Orleans and The Arc Livingston-Wyoming, resulting in Arc GLOW, geographically the largest chapter of The Arc New York. The disability provider’s four-county service area now covers roughly 2,400 square miles and serves nearly 2,000 children and adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities and their families and employs 1,000 staff members.
The group discussed advocacy priorities including the Better Care Better Jobs Act. This bill includes an investment in the disability service system as part of a COVID-19 economic recovery to support care for Medicaid recipients, and create more and better jobs for the workforce that provides that care.
Team members discussed the staffing shortage Arc GLOW and its sister chapters throughout the State are experiencing, and the need to secure adequate government funding to pay Direct Support Professionals a wage commensurate with their ability, experience, and performance.
The importance of employment opportunities for individuals wanting a job in the community was also brought to the table, as October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
Congressman Jacobs said he was honored to tour the Arc GLOW facility in Elba to see firsthand the critical services provides to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in our rural communities. “Organizations like Arc are crucial to providing essential support and educational services, as well as providing members of our I/DD community with meaningful employment opportunities. The leadership is incredibly passionate and doing a wonderful job, and I look forward to continuing our strong partnership to improve access to these services,” Jacobs said.