Listed below is an excellent letter from Bill Gettman, CEO of Northern
Rivers Family of Services and MHANYS Board Member, articulating the
significant funding needs of the human services workforce and also
recognizing that not profits are an ‘economic engine’ in New York

The Letter to the Editor
Letter: Not-for-profits a big benefit to New York

To the editor

Published 3:35 pm, Saturday, March 25, 2017

While many parts of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed 2017-18 executive budget
are admirable, it falls short for not-for-profit organizations. Without a
strong not-for-profit sector to implement his proposals, and to be on the
front lines providing compassionate and quality care, his agenda will be
stymied and New Yorkers will not get the quality services they need to
build strong communities.

New York’s not-for-profit workforce is not only hard-working but also an
economic engine: 1 in 7 New York workers is employed by a not-for-profit
organization, contributing billions to the state’s economic health,
including the payment of income, sales and property taxes.

Additionally, direct-care workers in child welfare, mental health care,
aging, health and developmental disability programs care for hundreds of
thousands of individuals with unique mental health, social, health and
physical needs. Often these consumers, ranging from children to adults to
seniors, require 24-hour care, intensive supervision and caring support.

Upcoming minimum-wage increases and growing competition from other
employers are expected to make job recruitment and retention for these
positions even more challenging in a sector that already has thousands of
job openings.

While the state’s minimum-wage increase is good for many, it will have
unintended and negative consequences for the not-for-profit sector. In
order for not-for-profits to compete for the quality workforce required, we
need state support to help pay for rising salaries.

New York must support a bold plan to build and sustain a strong network of
human services providers who care for our most vulnerable citizens. They
deserve it. Our future depends on it.

William T. Gettman Jr.
Chief Executive Officer
Northern Rivers Family of Services
Albany

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