Known as the "Keeper of the Western Door"

Training & Employment Resource Center (TERC)

The Training & Employment Resource Center is assisting Seneca youth and adults to succeed in the workforce, encourage self-sufficiency, learn about the work world, and facilitate the creation of job opportunities and any services related to these activities.

The Training & Employment Resource Center provides a broad range of services to the Seneca community incorporated into four programs within the department:

  • 477 program
  • Vocational Rehabilitation program
  • HSED Program
  • Construction Training Program (located at Seneca Training Center)

The department will provide job related services including job search and placement assistance, work experience, computer bank, resume development, vocational training.

Four Programs within the Department include:

  • 477 program initiative is the creation of the Indian Employment, Training and Related Services Demonstration Act, Public Law 102-477 aka 477. 477 is able to integrate several funding streams into one governmental unit to provide consolidated services to eligible members of the Seneca Nation and first descendants as related to employment and training opportunities.
  • Vocational Rehabilitation program provides unique, individualized services to members of the Seneca Nation of Indians with a documented disability in preparing for and engaging in gainful employment by providing culturally appropriate vocational rehabilitation services.
  • HSED program provides individualized adult education services to members of Seneca Nation that are in need of the GED to obtain employment.
  • Construction Training Program (CTP) is a 15 week paid program to help with basics of the construction trade.

Any questions? Please call us at Cattauraugus: (716) 532-1033 or at Allegany: (716) 945-8120

Services Offered

Seneca Nation Vocational Rehabilitation

Vocational Rehabilitation is a federally funded program provided by the U.S Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration. The Seneca Nation has received this grant since 1998. Each grant provides funding for five years. SNVR was awarded another five-year grant. This cycle will run from 2019-2024.

Our Main Objective is; to be recognized as a leader in the provisions of VR services to help people with disabilities integrate into the workforce.

Our Mission is; to provide culturally appropriate services that will empower individuals with disabilities to achieve maximum employability, economic independence and integration in the work place and community.

Our VR Counselors will help you develop an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). This is your plan to get from point A to point B- with B being employed in the field you have chosen. The SNVR team will help with the development of the plan and put identified services in place that help you reach your goal.

Our VR Job Developer/Job Coach will assist in searching for job opportunities that are right for you, but you as the individual will need to make the effort to apply and interview for these jobs. They will then help you in the training process and after you have been successfully employed for 90 days.

SNVR is part of; Consortia of Administrators for Native American Rehabilitation, INC (CANAR) which functions as a national platform for advocating the needs for effective rehabilitation service delivery for American Indians and Alaskan Natives with disabilities.

SNVR Eligibility

The Seneca Nation Vocational Rehabilitation Program’s eligibility requirements:

  • You must be a member of a federally recognized tribe/nation
  • You must reside on territory or live within 20 miles of the Cattaraugus, Allegany, Oil Spring, Buffalo Creek, or Niagara Falls territories and
  • You must have a documented disability (physical or mental) which results in a substantial impediment to employment
  • You must have the desire to gain employment
  • Presumed eligibility- If you provide proof you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) that is based on SSA determination of your disability, SNVR will assume you are eligible for SNVR services.

The following documentation will be necessary to complete your application process:

  • Photo ID
  • Medical documentation that states your disability is an impediment to obtaining gainful employment
  • Proof of Residency – the documented address must match the address you provide on your application, if you use a P.O. box you must provide proof of physical address with documentation such as mail (post marked mail within the last 30 days), utility bill, a current landlord statement, current rent receipt or lease, shelter verification form, voter registration card, work permit, school documents or proof from the Nation’s Clerks office
  • Nation Enrollment Card – enrollment of any federally recognized nation.

Once your application has been received with the required documentation our SNVR Intake-Tech will call you to explain the program requirements and answer any questions you may have. If you wish to proceed with the program you will be given an appointment to review the SNVR Handbook. The Intake Tech will obtain signed release of information (ROI) forms to obtain your medical records. The next step in the process is to obtain an appointment with the SNVR Counselor who will determine your eligibility based on your medical information. The SNVR Counselor has 60 days in which to determine your eligibility. On occasion, your SNVR Counselor may need to request an extension of time if documentation is pending to determine your eligibility.

SNVR Process

Applying is your 1st Step

  • Visit our webpage on sni.org. You can download an application and send it in or email it to us. You may also leave in the confidential drop box outside our office. Please call us for any assistance.
  • You may also call us and apply over the phone.

Intake

Step 2 can take up to 2-3 visits this is done via the phone or office depending on participant’s preference. We have taken the necessary safety precautions to protect staff and the community during this Covid pandemic, please be patient as this is a different process.

This is your first contact with our SNVR staff.

  • You will receive a call from our staff to set up a phone conference or a face to face meeting within 5 days of receipt of your application.
  • We will go over our handbook.
  • Complete any paperwork regarding eligibility.
  • We will discuss your disability and how it affects you.
  • Please ask questions.
  • Your information is always kept confidential.
  • It may take up to 60 days to determine your eligibility, however if you have all your paperwork completed it could take less.

Once you receive your eligibility letter, we will begin working on gathering information on jobs and your disability. We will conduct research on potential jobs you would like to have based on your interests and skills. Together we will find the best fit for you, while keeping in my mind your limitations. We have a Career Readiness Workshop that will assist you in preparing you for your journey.

If you are unsure of what career you are looking for, we have several tools like career exploration and assessment questionnaires. These questionnaires, will help narrow down jobs that would suit your personality and interests.

We have 90 days from your eligibility date to construct a plan.

Individualized Plan for Employment Development

Step 3: The individualized plan for employment or as we call it the IPE, is your roadmap to success. You will make choices to decide what you want to do for employment and how to get there. In this step, you and your VR counselor will make a timeline of events that you will need to reach your employment goal. The VR program will provide or assist in securing services from other outside agencies. Yes, we will pay for services that you will need to complete your journey.

You are in control of how successful you want to be, by completing your plan to the best of your ability, staying dedicated and focused. This is a partnership, and your job is to maintain contact with your counselor, notify of any changes that need to be made to the plan, keep your appointments and complete your goals. Our job is to be a partner to you every step of the way.

Employment and Follow-up

This final step consists of meeting our job coach/developer, she will help begin the job search and development. We will work as a team to seek careers/jobs that match your skills, interests and abilities. We will help prepare you for successful employment.

When you are hired, SNVR will remain in contact with you for a minimum of 90 days. We will be available to you to assist you with any needs, or conflicts that may arise. We want you to become successful and to maintain your employment.

SNVR Journey

SNVR Program Services

VR has a wide range of services that can be provided to our consumers. No two plans are identical as services are dependent on your abilities, needs, likes and interests. Each individual plan for employment (IPE) will be different from consumer to consumer. You are instrumental in helping to create your plan.

  • Assessments for determining eligibility and Vocational Rehabilitation needs
  • VR Counseling and Guidance
  • Referrals necessary to help applicants and eligible individuals secure needed services from other outside agencies
  • Vocational and other training services including books, tools and other training material.
  • Transportation including public transportation in connection with rendering of any vocational rehabilitation services
  • Interpreter services for individuals who are hearing impaired
  • Rehabilitation services for the visually impaired
  • Career development and assessments
  • Supported employment services to include job search, placement, on the job support and monitoring
  • Personal assistance services
  • Post-employment services
  • Occupational licenses, tools, equipment, initial stocks and supplies
  • Transition services for students with disabilities
  • Services to the family necessary to assist the individual with a disability
  • Culturally relevant classes, trainings and information
  • Client assistance programs (CAP)

Due to the new normal with the Covid-19 pandemic our emphasis will be on on-line learning. We will ensure you have all the tools necessary to accomplish your goals. Our VR Counselor will guide you through your plan and prepare you for the world of work.

SNVR Transitional Services

Transitional Services are specifically for high school students thru higher education, age 14 – 24, who have documented disabilities with an IEP or 504 Plan. Our goal is to make the transition from high school to work or from high school to college as seamless of a process as possible. Our mission is to assist Native American youth and young adults to succeed in the workforce, encourage self-sufficiency, and familiarize them with the world of work by facilitating creation of job opportunities and services related to these activities.

The following school district are encompassed to our transitional services:

  • Buffalo School District
  • Olean Central School
  • Gowanda Central School
  • Salamanca Central School
  • Lakeshore Central School
  • Silver Creek Central School
  • Niagara Falls School District

Any school falling within the 20-mile radius of the territories that have students eligible for services are included. Please feel free to contact our office for more information.

What do you want to do after High School? Do you want to join the work force? Do you want to work in construction, or maybe in an office? Do you want to go into the Armed Services? Do you want to attend college? Transitional Planning can help you discover and achieve those dreams and goals.

Transitional Services Offered:

  • Advocacy
  • Information and referrals
  • Job related services including: Job searches, Career Readiness training, job retention services, follow- up services and follow-along services
  • Services to the family necessary to assist the teen with a disability to achieve an employment outcome.
  • Supported Employment Services
  • Transition services to help you move from school to work or further training that leads to work.
  • Vocational assessments to discover skills, abilities, and interests. Assessments for potential career goals.
  • Vocational counseling and guidance

SNVR Traditional Services

This component sets Tribal Vocational Rehabilitation programs apart from State Vocational Rehabilitation programs as we can offer our consumers traditional services. Due to the differences in our teachings, the historical trauma we have endured in the past affects our everyday lives. Providing an outlet for our consumers to understand that trauma is a very healing cultural experience and understanding. The dynamics of being Native American in today’s society are recognized as having different needs from those who do not know of our culture.

Some examples that we can offer you are:

  • Classroom style learning or one on one learning.
  • Crafts such as; beading, moccasin making, sewing, pottery, painting, basketry
  • Learning our Ceremonies
  • Learning our Language
  • Traditional Medicines
  • Healing techniques such as; smudging, sweats, meditation
  • Traditional Food Cooking classes
  • Storytelling
  • Learning and Healing from Historical Trauma
  • Gardening

Your Counselor will assist you in connecting with the traditional services available.

Other Resources we will use are:

  • Museums
  • Guest Speakers
  • Cultural Events for our consumers and the community
  • Day trips to historical places

We are always open to ideas and suggestions on improving programs. If there is something that you are interested in but its not listed please feel free to talk to your counselor about it.

 

SNVR - Links to Other VR Services

Native Agencies
AIVRTTAC: American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Training Assistance Center http://aivrttac.org/ or aivrttac@nau.edu
Native American Community Services http://www.nacswny.org/
Seneca Nation Museum https://www.senecamuseum.org/
New York State Agencies
New York State Vocational Rehabilitation http://www.acces.nysed.gov/vr
Western New York Independent Living http://wnyil.org/
Disability of New York State https://www.ny.gov/services/apply-federal-disability-benefits
New York State Department of Labor Job Zone https://www.jobzone.ny.gov/views/jobzone/guest.jsf
Parent Network of Western NY https://parentnetworkwny.org/
National Disability Institute https://www.nationaldisabilityinstitute.org/financial-resilience-center/
Self-Advocacy Association Of New York State, Inc. https://sanys.org/
CAP: Client Assistance Program
of New York State
https://www.drny.org/page/client-assistance-program-cap-19.html
New York State Commission for the Blind & Hearing Impaired https://ocfs.ny.gov/main/cb/
Career Development
Workforce GPS https://www.workforcegps.org/
Workforce 180 https://workforce180.com/
Career One Stop https://www.careeronestop.org/
Education and Transitions
Ed to Go at State University of Fredonia https://www.fredonia.edu/academics/extended-learning/online-education
DAAWNY: Developmental Disability of Western New York http://www.ddawny.org/
Erie BOCES 1 https://www.e1b.org/en/index.aspx

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Upcoming Events

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Holiday Craft Night
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Christmas Cookie Exchange at BNRC
December 07, 2021
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Christmas Elders Brunch
December 07, 2021
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Movie Night @ ACC
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