Springbrook, a non-profit organization that supports people with developmental disabilities in Central New York and employs more than 1200 people, has made a move to further support and retain its employees. According to AllOTSEGO, Springbrook has announced another round of pay raises for all current employees and will give out a $4,160 base wage increase.

To encourage Springbrook workers to become fully vaccinated, the organization is also giving $500 to anyone who completes their vaccination series. Another $1000 will be given out to all full-time employees with part-time workers getting a pro-rated amount to thank them all for their service during the pandemic.

The pandemic has seen a real shortage of employees in various areas related to healthcare across the nation and Springbrook continues to experience a shortage in direct support professionals (DSPs) for the individuals they serve, just like other similar organizations across New York State. Just to give you a sense of the shortage, according to a survey conducted between January 1, 2021, and April 30 by The New York Disability Advocates, New York State lost almost 25% of its direct support professionals. That's a huge loss and a real problem for organizations like Springbrook.

The last time Springbrook gave out pay raises was back in July of 2021. The hourly wage of direct support professionals was bumped from $14-$16.50 per hour to $15-$20 an hour. That translated to a $1 per hour increase.

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While Springbrook continues to address this shortage of DSPs, work continues on addressing the lack of affordable housing for employees with work in motion on the Ford Block building on Oneonta's Main Street which is being converted into apartments.

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The building adjacent to Muller Plaza is being renovated to convert the two upper stories of the building into 22 to 24 market-rate one and two-bedroom apartments and has a price tag of around $4.8 million, with the City of Oneonta lending a financial hand by kicking in $411,000 to help pay for the project.

Springbrook officials say that the renovation project is expected to be completed by the fall if everything goes according to plan.

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