State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) Commissioner Karen M. Carpenter-Palumbo has announced that OASAS-Certified Education and Training Providers will offer free tuition for unemployed New Yorkers to enter the addictions workforce, now one of the nation’s top ten growing occupations.

The College of Staten Island was awarded $16,800. Other awardees include: City College of New York., Alcoholism Council of New York, American Institute for Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy, Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service, Argus Career Training Institute, Kingsborough Community College, Outreach Training Institute.
Statewide, OASAS awarded $500,000 in federal stimulus funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to 14 OASAS training providers. The Funding, provided by the state Department of Labor, will train nearly 130 unemployed or underemployed individuals in careers in the addictions field.

Governor David A. Paterson said, “At a time when there is only one job available for every six unemployed New Yorkers, the field of addictions, like many others in the health care industry, is not only hiring but projected to grow in the coming years. New York City is one that is loaded with talented New Yorkers ready, willing, and able to work. This funding will provide the New York City residents with an opportunity to learn a new craft and become part of an in-demand field.”

“Addictions counseling is one of the top ten fastest growing occupations nationally,” said Commissioner Carpenter-Palumbo. “As there is a critical shortage of addictions counselors, there is great demand by employers to hire individuals with this valuable credential. Addictions counselors find this work highly rewarding and it is gratifying to make a difference in another person’s life.”

Hugo J. Kijne, PhD, Executive Director, Continuing Education and Professional Development, College of Staten Island said, “The College of Staten Island/CUNY will have six students starting in its CASAC program in February with OASAS funding. There is a high need for graduates of the program on Staten Island, so the funding both serves the interests of the individual recipients and caters to the needs of the community.”