The Center for Recovery and Wellness (CRW) is a proud partner of the Association of Community Employment Programs (ACE). ACE works alongside the most vulnerable New Yorkers struggling with addiction, homelessness, and incarceration to help them secure employment and achieve economic stability. ACE was formally founded in 1997 and since then, “has grown to serve more than 650 people each year with workforce development, therapeutic counseling, adult basic education, and job readiness/life skills training.”
Aleksei C, a current client of CRW’s recovery programs, only had positive things to say about ACE: “They helped me with absolutely everything I needed. Amazing people, it’s like a family type of company. I highly recommend people to go to ACE. They will help you with everything, like housing, finding a good job, and benefits. For people in recovery it’s the best way to adapt to normal life.”
We spoke with Rachel Cohen, Assistant Program Director at ACE, who shared her thoughts with us on their programs and our partnership. “We work with a population that often has the most obstacles in getting a job. The majority of our clients are in some level of recovery and a lot of them have a dual diagnosis of some other mental health condition,” Rachel said. In that sense, the partnership between CRW and ACE is a perfect combination as the populations we serve heavily overlap.
Like CRW, ACE takes a comprehensive and compassionate approach to helping clients achieve their goals. Case managers make sure clients have all their job application basics covered such as ID’s, interview attire, and strong resumes and cover letters. ACE also help clients figure out what type of trainings they want to take. They offer soft skills classes like interpersonal communication and interviewing, as well as hard skills classes such as computer use, forklift operation, and food handling.
Case managers also offer support to clients more broadly speaking. “You never know what a client is going to come in here and be challenged with,” Rachel explains. “You can be in the middle of job searching and have the loss of a family member.”
Since case managers have small caseloads and give clients a lot of individual attention, they put on a second hat to provide a support system during those moments of turbulence. “Everybody who works here will know your name while you’re here and will be involved in supporting you to get to where you want to be,” says Rachel. “I think that approach is part of what makes us different, you will often hear from clients and graduates they feel like they’re part of a family.” ACE’s aftercare program even offers lifelong support to anyone who has gone through their program and secured a job.
Rachel emphasized how ACE and CRW have grown to become very close partners over the years. “I’m really grateful when I have partnerships like the one we have with CRW. When it’s collaborative it just makes the chances of success for the individual so much higher and I feel like I’m lucky when we have partners like [CRW].”