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Finger Lakes Hires: Have You Heard? DSP – a Career With a Bright Future!

October 20, 2021
Contact: Michael Woloson
Finger Lakes Workforce Investment Board

Finger Lakes Workforce Investment Board recognizes regional needs in healthcare including Direct Support Professionals

Love working with people?  Want your work to be impactful?  Want to make a difference in people’s lives?  Then a career as a Direct Support Professional might be the perfect fit for you! A Direct Support Professional (DSP) is someone who works with people who have intellectual or developmental disabilities. DSPs work to support people in realizing their full potential while assisting them to become an active and integral member of their community. In the past, DSPs were trained as caregivers. But today, the needs of those roles, more than simply being supported have changed and so has the role of the DSP. Now, DSPs practice enhanced skills and caregiving. It is no longer about doing things for people. It is about helping them learn how to do things for themselves.

Direct Support Professional Training and Demand

Agencies that hire DSP’s often offer paid training to new hires. Regional workforce collaborations work together with service providers, DSPs, people with disabilities, and their families, to build workforce capacity based on the NYS DSP Core Competencies and the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals’ Code of Ethics. Demand for these essential professionals is at an all-time high and growing. With significant challenges to recruiting and retaining DSPs, the demand far exceeds supply. The University of Minnesota’s Institute for Community Integration estimates there are 1.3 million DSPs supporting individuals with intellectual disabilities. To sustain this level of service, 574,200 new DSPs need to be hired into the workforce every year. In addition, at least another 167,000 would be needed to serve people who are on waiting lists for Home Community Based Services.

According to, wages in this region start at about $15.00 and hour ($25,000-l-New-York-State-jobs.html?vjk=e0d024119a99648a). Agencies are offering health insurance, paid time off and additional benefits.  Often DSPs grow into other positions within the helping field making for a career with a bright future.

Next Steps:

Finger Lakes Works is a system of workforce development partners offering career counseling, workshops, training funds for job seekers, on the job training opportunities for businesses, tax credit information and much more!  To contact the career center nearest you log on to and find out what career awaits you.

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