NYSID News Release: CREATE Symposium Highlights Inventions by College Engineering Students to Help Individuals with Disabilities Become More Successful in the Workplace

NYSID News Release: CREATE Symposium Highlights Inventions by College Engineering Students to Help Individuals with Disabilities Become More Successful in the Workplace

Tuesday, March 26, 2019 - 14:34
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student invention

NYSID News Release

For Release: Immediate
Contact: Susan Bardack | 518.867.7940 | susan@buzzmediasolutions.com

Colleges from Around the State, Including Students from SUNY Poly, Participate in NYSID-Sponsored Competition

(Albany) - NYSID (New York State Industries for the Disabled, Inc.), has announced the 2019 CREATE (Cultivating Resources for Employment with Assistive TEchnology) Symposium where college engineering students collaborate with rehabilitation organizations to develop inventions that help those with disabilities succeed in their jobs. The event, open to the public, will take place on Wednesday, April 10, in Meeting Room 6 of the North Concourse/Empire State Plaza from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. This is a new location for the expanding program, now in its sixth year.

College engineering students from around the state will demonstrate their inventions. Descriptions of the locally based projects are included below.

A panel of judges made up of community leaders will evaluate and score the CREATE projects. Student teams will compete to receive prize funds worth $15,000 dollars, $10,000 dollars or $5,000 dollars, to be split between students, their universities and their rehabilitation organization partners. This is the biggest year ever for CREATE, with 9 colleges and 11 NYSID member rehabilitation organizations producing 21 inventions. Members of the NYS legislature will attend and speak at CREATE.

Maureen O’Brien, president and CEO of NYSID stated, “This event is really at the heart of what we do. We assist in putting people with disabilities to work and have a strong interest in making sure they become successful. In many cases, a specially designed invention can go a long way toward helping an individual in the workplace become more productive. We have selected judges who are leaders in their fields and are thrilled to have them engaged.”

Local Colleges/NYSID Member Agencies/Inventions Include:

SUNY Polytechnic Institute and NYSID Member Agency The Arc Oneida-Lewis Chapter

  • Six-Pack Plastic Yoke Remover – A yoke remover to re-package cans of beer. This machine will help remove workplace barriers within a packaging plant, where workers remove plastic six-pack yokes from beer cans shipped to the facility by local breweries.

SUNY Albany and NYSID Member Agencies Center for Disability Services and Living Resources

  • Be Tethered – A smart mobile location-based scheduling, messaging, and alerts application to help people with disabilities obtain and maintain employment.
  • E-Misty Bot – A service robot that roams around the workplace, observes the status of workers and reports any occurrence of incidents when detected, to assist caregivers or supervisors in helping these workers maintain emotional stability and work efficiency.
  • MedKit – An accessible packing and inventory tracking system for medical kit assembly. The proposed automated solution is a database system controlling the items comprising each medical kit to increase efficiency.
  • palletPAL – A pallet tracking system. A proposed inventory management system will significantly reduce time spent on tracking inventory, increase accuracy and simplify the process, which should open up job opportunities to employees with disabilities.

Union College and NYSID Member Agency Schenectady ARC

  • Automated Greenhouse Watering System - An automatic irrigation controller and water delivery system will automatically provide gentle, regular watering to a seedling bed and is, most importantly, easily operable by workers with developmental disabilities with relatively little supervision.

Judges include: Dr. Andrew Dubin of Albany Medical Center, Robert Schwartz (Schwartz Heslin Group), Mike Tucker (Tucker Strategies), Suzanne Bakiewicz (ARC Herkimer), Bob Testa (Christian Brothers Academy) and Andy Grosso (retired NYSID VP, Business Development and CREATE co-founder).

Colleges and partner organizations include: Alfred University/Arc of Steuben, Cooper Union/UCP of NYS, CUNY City College/Goodwill, NYIT/AHRC Nassau/AHRC NYC, RIT/Arc of Livingston-Wyoming, Rochester University/Unistel, SUNY Albany/Living Resources/Center for Disabilities Services, SUNY Polytechnic/The Arc Oneida-Lewis Chapter, Union College/Schenectady ARC.

About the 2019 Judges

Dr. Andrew Dubin
Andrew Dubin, M.D., is the interim chairman of Albany Med’s Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. A board-certified physiatrist and professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation, he also directs the residency program for physical medicine and rehabilitation at Albany Medical College.

Dr. Dubin is an expert in musculoskeletal medicine whose specialties include electrodiagnostic medicine and the treatment of spasticity and neuropathic pain. Many of his patients are children with cerebral palsy. With more than 25 years of experience treating musculoskeletal issues and the disabled pediatric population, Dr. Dubin is well versed in new treatment options that include the use of botulinum toxins to treat spasticity and neuropathic pain syndrome. He is also an expert in the use of EMG-guided nerve blocks for diagnostic and treatment purposes. Because of his advanced subspecialty training, Dr. Dubin often treats more complex conditions, including spasticity in children.

Regularly recognized as one of the “Top Doctors in the Capital Region,” Dr. Dubin has authored research studies and book chapters that have appeared in more than 100 publications. He received his medical degree from Albany Medical College and completed his residency at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. 

Robert Schwartz
Robert W. Schwartz is the Founder and Chairman of the Schwartz Heslin Group, since 1985.  Mr. Schwartz specializes in corporate finance and M&A activities. Prior to starting the firm, he was a founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Winsource, Inc., a venture-funded high-tech telecommunications company. In addition, he was the President and Chief Operating Officer of Coradian Corporation, an American Stock Exchange-listed company that he took public in 1979. He was also the Chief Financial Officer of Garden Way Manufacturing Corporation, a major manufacturer of outdoor power equipment. His earlier experience was with KPMG as a management consultant and with IBM. Since starting SHG, he has worked with over 680 businesses utilizing his experience in finance and general management to achieve their objectives. Mr. Schwartz holds a BS from Cornell University and has done graduate work at The University at Albany. He has served as a director of a number of public, private and non-profit organizations; he currently serves on the boards of five corporations. He chairs The University at Albany Foundation's Council on Economic Outreach, is past non-executive chairman of the Statewide Zone Capital Corporation, a subsidiary of New York Business Development Corporation, is vice chair of NYSID and is a director of Dais Analytic Corporation and the Golub Corporation. He has been a frequent guest lecturer at universities and professional organizations and previously taught a graduate course in entrepreneurship at The University at Albany.

F. Michael Tucker
One of upstate New York’s leading experts on economic development and technology-driven business creation and growth, F. Michael Tucker brings a 30-year record of accomplishment in the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors.

Known for his business and economic development skills, he has long been a catalyst in fostering the environment and making the connections necessary for high-tech, advanced manufacturing, and energy companies to succeed.

He currently serves as President and CEO of Columbia Economic Development Corporation.  From 2007 – 2015, Mike served as President & CEO of the Center for Economic Growth, the premier economic development and organization in New York’s Capital Region. Prior to joining CEG, Mike was President of the Harriman Research and Technology Development Corporation where he was responsible for initiating and overseeing the initial redevelopment plan for the 300-acre W.A. Harriman State Office Campus.

Suzanne Bakiewicz
Suzanne Bakiewicz, MS, MIS, HRM, is the National Business Development Director at Herkimer Industries, a division of Arc Herkimer, a NYSID Member Agency. Suzanne has over 32 years of experience in the for-profit and non-profit sectors. She attributes her success to the ability to cultivate and maintain positive and productive relationships with a broad range of contacts including government and regulatory agencies, clients, customers and community leaders. She is recognized for her extensive experience in the areas of organizational management, business development, marketing, operations and management consulting. She is also well-versed in program development, community outreach, negotiations, grant writing and contract management. She has served as the COO of an Autism Center as well as an Adjunct Instructor for the American Management Association (AMA), Mohawk Valley Community College and Utica College of Syracuse University. Suzanne has been honored by the Greater Utica Sunrise Rotary with the Pride of Workmanship Award and recognized at the National Source America Conference as the Products “Unsung Hero” for development of projects that create employment opportunities for people with disabilities and veterans. Suzanne loves and lives the mission of Arc Herkimer and NYSID by developing market and product opportunities leading to more jobs for New Yorkers with disabilities and helping to build a stronger, more integrated community.

Bob Testa
Bob teaches at Christian Brothers Academy (CBA) in Albany. He directs Project Lead the Way, a program that provides challenging and innovative curriculum for use by schools in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math. According to PLTW it exists “…to prepare students for the global economy through its world class curriculum, high quality professional development and an engaged network of educators, students, universities and professionals. The hands on project based program engages students on multiple levels, exposes them to areas of study that they typically do not pursue…”

Bob is a graduate of Penn State University, and was previously the Technology Director and Instructor at St. Gregory’s School in Albany.

Andy Grosso
Andy founded Grosso Strategic Marketing (GSM) in 2016, a consultancy focusing on Branding, Business Development, Customer Satisfaction, Marketing Planning and Training.  He is a Senior Manager with a 35-year career in business development, consulting, wholesale distribution, publishing, and direct response.  Andy’s professional expertise focuses on assisting companies achieving long-term growth and sustainable competitive advantage by providing superior value as defined by the customer and anticipating emerging needs in the marketplace. Mr. Grosso has extensive experience in developing and implementing market-driven strategies that recognize and respond to the dynamic interaction among customers, collaborators, and competitors. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Marketing at Sienna College.

NYSID is a not-for-profit business with a mission of "Advancing employment and other opportunities for individuals with disabilities." Established in 1975, NYSID is a registered 501(c)(3) Not for Profit which creates employment opportunities for over 6,000 New Yorkers with disabilities annually through New York's Preferred Source Program. NYSID's community rehabilitation Member Agencies and Corporate Partners are located throughout the state, providing jobs in the community and in production facilities. For more information, visit www.nysid.org.