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Springbrook has a proud history of offering the most comprehensive employee training in the field, and now it will be extending that training to the families of the people it supports in the Self-Directed Services (SDS) program. Through a new initiative—the Rural Support System (RSS), the organization has the opportunity to expand and enhance its training program. The first step in that process has been accomplished through the selection of a new Assistant Director of Training and Development and the creation of the Instructional Designer position.
The new Assistant Director of Training and Development, Meghann Andrews-Whitaker, will be joining Springbrook after four years of serving as the Executive Director at The Family Resource Network. The Family Resource Network is a respected local nonprofit that specializes in the education and personal development of individuals with special needs and their families. During her time there, Andrews-Whitaker redeveloped the organization’s Human Resources policies and procedures, including staff development and training. Springbrook is excited to welcome Andrews-Whitaker to its team of management professionals, where she will be responsible for overseeing the Training Department at Springbrook, as well as the Internship and Volunteer Programs. She will be leading the training department in conducting, reviewing, and evaluating training programs for new employees in person and through Springbrook’s online learning management system, Advance. On her upcoming career at Springbrook, Andrews-Whitaker says, “I am happy for the opportunity to contribute to Springbrook’s already stellar employee training program. I look forward to bringing my perspective and my years of experience in HR policy development, staff development, and training procedures to the organization. I truly believe that education and training are the keys to unlocking employee potential and am so excited to join Springbrook's wonderful team.”
Todd McCarthy, Springbrook’s new Instructional Designer, is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations. He has a long history of leadership and multimedia content design for a variety of industries, including healthcare, education, entertainment, and finance. McCarthy also has years of experience with eLearning and incorporating technology in the classroom and currently serves as Vice President on the Maine-Endwell Board of Education. His primary duties as Instructional Designer at Springbrook include working with subject matter experts from within the organization and creating instructional courses, assessments, and job resource materials from that information, to be used in Advance. Of his position at Springbrook, McCarthy says: “I’m thrilled to be in a position to expand upon the already strong commitment Springbrook has to training and developing their employees. The burgeoning eLearning landscape affords many opportunities to add depth and reach to our existing training portfolio and I hope to help cultivate these opportunities into a truly valuable educational support system across the organization and the Springbrook community—and I plan on having fun doing it.”
Thanks to the BIP grant, we have taken the first step in providing an expanded training program through the RSS initiative. The next step is to complete a transformation of our existing technology systems. Springbrook is currently partnering with the nation’s leading Financial Management Services software developer, Mains’l, to create an online tracking system that will improve the lives of hundreds of families across New York State who are seeking the least restrictive supports for their loved ones with developmental disabilities. Through this initiative, a minimum of 450 additional individuals will gain access to Self-Directed Services. Once Springbrook completes the transition into the new Self-Directed Services software, the organization will be in a unique position to partner with other, smaller agencies across New York State with this valuable resource, resulting in an even larger population having access to the support they need. Two other local organizations are already waiting to partner with us as soon as this technology is fully functional. The transformation also includes updating and consolidating Springbrook’s personnel management systems, for internal timekeeping, communication, and record keeping.
More than 1,200 Springbrook employees work to support individuals with developmental disabilities, not only by coming to work each day and performing their regular duties, but also by staying current on the latest training and state certifications. Expanding Springbrook’s Training and Development Department is an important piece in a very large puzzle. Each of these steps is an important strategic move toward a more streamlined and accessible variety of services and supports—another way that Springbrook is sending the message that we are all in this commitment together.