Our History

 

Woman typing - 1954

Yearbook: The First 50 Years

Origination
Conceptualized in 1949 following a survey of the rehabilitation needs in the Capital District conducted by the Albany Kiwanis, Northeast Career Planning and The Workshop Inc. (The Norton Center) were formed to meet the growing demand for vocational rehabilitation services for the physically and mentally disabled.


In 1954, the Albany Kiwanis in conjunction with a committee of representatives from Albany Hospital, The New York State (NYS) Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Albany County Tuberculosis Association and The Albany Council of Community Services, identified a need for a sheltered workshop to provide area residents with a new opportunity for job training and employment. Training resources included food services, clerical, janitorial and maintenance, woodworking and machine shop, as well as warehouse facilities for direct mail equipment � thus laying the groundwork for Northeast Career Planning's comprehensive vocational services and programs today.

Women at table working - 1954

Program Evolution
Originally created to train and rehabilitate individuals with physical challenges, in 1963, Northeast Career Planning's intake policy was expanded to include individuals with mental health and developmental disabilities. By the mid-eighties, NCP further opened doors to individuals with barriers to employment through the creation of its seminal program, Supported Employment. By providing vocational exploration and competitive employment opportunities to well trained, job-ready individuals, the Supported Employment Program offered the opportunity for higher wages and more integrated work environments for its participants.

Funded by a grant from the Commissioner for the Blind and Visually Handicapped to provide academic training in business management to the blind and visually impaired, the development of NCP's Business Enterprise Program became one of three sites in New York State to provide training to manage vending sites, news stands, cafeterias and gift shops in the New York State offices.

By 1986, the Supported Employment Program was placing approximately 100 employees a year into competitive employment and was recognized as one of the largest programs in New York State.


Employee at the workshop shrinkwrapping - 1970
NCP Today
With offices and programs spanning eight counties across Upstate New York, Northeast Career Planning is located in Albany, Rensselaer, Schenectady, Saratoga, Columbia, Greene, Washington and Warren counties and serves more than 2,000 individuals each year.

In addition to geographic growth, NCP's breadth of partners has continued to expand over the past fifty years, including strategic partnerships with government agencies, school districts, universities and colleges, and employees. Current government agencies include:

Since 1954, Northeast Career Planning's diverse range of program offerings has continued to expand and evolve yet always continue to remain focused on preparing individuals with disabilities to reach their highest potential.