New York State Partnerships in Employment The New York State Partnerships in Employment Systems Change (NYS PIE) project is aimed at addressing barriers to employment for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). The project brings together various state agencies serving individuals with IDD and their families with the goal of improving employment opportunities and outcomes for youth and young adults. NYS PIE is a collaboration between the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD); the NYS Education Department’s Adult Career and Continuing Education Services – Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR) and Office of Special Education (NYSED P-12/OSE), the Developmental Disabilities Planning Council (DDPC), and the Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities at the University of Rochester Medical Center (SCDD). This project has supported the creation of statewide and regional consortia of state agencies, universities, individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, providers, families, public and private employers, educators, school districts/Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), and other partners who collaboratively engage in systems change efforts that contribute to the following: (a) developing policies that support competitive employment in integrated settings as the first and desired outcome for youth and young adults with developmental disabilities; (b) removing systemic barriers to competitive employment in integrated settings; (c) implementing strategies and best practices that improve employment outcomes for youth and young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities; and (d) enhancing collaboration to facilitate the transition process from secondary school or other prevocational training settings to integrated employment settings. This systems change effort aims to improve employment preparation for high school students; increase the number of students transitioning from high school to competitive, integrated employment while decreasing participation in day habilitation programs and sheltered workshops; increase the number of young adults employed in competitive employment settings; and enhance cross-agency communication and collaboration. A goal of this project is to implement an Employment First Policy in New York State, which will result in improved quality of life and independence for people with disabilities. For more information about this project, see the following: New York State Project SEARCH Expansion New York State Partnerships in Employment Systems Change Like us on Facebook.