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BBI, Whitman School support FDIC Money Smart Train-the-Trainer Workshop at South Side Innovation Center June 19

June 16, 2008

Jaime Winne Alvarez
315) 443-3784

Jaime Winne Alvarez

The Burton Blatt Institute (BBI) and the Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises (EEE) Program at the Martin J. Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University are helping support an upcoming FDIC Money Smart Train-the-Trainer Workshop for participants representing an array of disability advocacy organizations in Syracuse and Onondaga County. The training--made possible by the Start-Up NY program, a project led by local organizations including BBI and the Whitman School--will be held at the South Side Innovation Center on Thursday, June 19.

In addition to BBI and EEE, sponsors of the FDIC training workshop include the Onondaga County Offices of Social Services and Economic Development; Cooperative Federal, Syracuse's community development credit union; ARISE Inc.; and the New York State Small Business Development Center of Onondaga Community College.

At the sponsors' request, the FDIC is sending two Money Smart Train-the-Trainer instructors to Syracuse who will instruct interested parties on how to teach financial literacy and education to their constituencies using FDIC's copyright-free curriculum.

Participants in the workshop will include professionals who work as benefits and employment/vocational services specialists, adult services consultants, career resource coordinators, program directors, financial educator coordinators and psychiatric center representatives at local disability advocacy organizations.

Start-UP NY is an unprecedented community collaboration to increase self-employment among people with disabilities living in Onondaga County. One of three national technical assistance centers on self-employment for people with disabilities funded by the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Disability Policy, the three-year, $3 million project is led by the Onondaga County Offices of Social Services and Economic Development in partnership with BBI, the Falcone Center for Entrepreneurship at the Whitman School, the Southside Entrepreneurial Connect project and partners from business, human services and economic development organizations that create self-employment options for people with diverse disabilities throughout the county.

"This training is important to the Start-UP NY project, as well as Onondaga County stakeholders, to improve financial literacy and asset development that enables people with disabilities to escape poverty and achieve their employment goals," says Gary E. Shaheen, managing director for program development at BBI.

"This unique program will offer the most relevant and useful material for participants who clearly have a pressing need for effective practices and methods to communicate financial information to their clients, who will likely include entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs," says Nola Miyasaki, executive director of the Falcone Center. "With such tremendous expertise coming together from all the partner organizations, this is a great opportunity to learn how to teach financial literacy and to impact the overall economic vitality of our community."

The June 19 workshop is filled to capacity and an additional dozen interested parties have been placed on a waiting list. As a result, a second training workshop has been tentatively scheduled for fall 2008. Information will be forthcoming.

For more information on the FDIC Money Smart Train-the-Trainer Workshop, contact Me'Shae Brooks-Rolling at BBI at (315) 443-8455 or

BBI fosters public-private dialogue to advance the civic, economic and social participation of persons with disabilities in a global society. The institute takes its name from Burton Blatt (1927-85), a pioneer in humanizing services for people with mental retardation, a staunch advocate of deinstitutionalization and a national leader in special education. BBI currently has offices in Syracuse, New York City, Washington, D.C., Atlanta and Tel Aviv. For more information, visit

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