Event Raises Awareness Of Public Services

Apr 16, 2014

Representatives of more than 100 social service agencies in upstate New York gathered in Saratoga Springs to raise awareness of available public services. 

At the Saratoga Springs City Center, the Saratoga County Economic Opportunity Council celebrated its Annual Interagency Awareness Day.

A.C. Riley, President of EOC, said the event offers social service agencies from all sectors including healthcare, housing, and homelessness prevention visibility, and allows members of the public to become more involved with their communities.

Credit Lucas Willard / WAMC

"They might want to be a volunteer, and if they walk around they can see what volunteer opportunities there are," said Riley. "It's a really good opportunity for different nonprofits and service agencies to communicate about what they do."

Social service agencies from Warren, Washington and Saratoga Counties attended the event.

Jamie Gandron  of Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Services of Saratoga County said the annual event is important in allowing her organization to make connections with other agencies.

"A lot of other agencies might have clients or even coworkers that are going through abusive situations, and just knowing or getting information from us so they can refer people to our agency is really helpful," said Gandron.

Capital District Congressman Paul Tonko also attended the Awareness Day, and said such events are an important resource for local communities in supporting the organizations that provide services to the working poor and others in a time of economic recovery.

"In this comeback, the recovery that we're experiencing, it's always important to make certain that people are provided the greatest stability as possible," said Tonko.

Prior to his visit to the City Center, the Democrat joined the Unified Military Affairs Council, or UMAC, at the Naval Support Facility Saratoga Springs. UMAC is a partnership between members of the business community and military leaders.

Tonko, in the district during the two-week House recess, met with officials from the Kesselring site, Watervliet Arsenal, Naval Support Saratoga, KAPL, Stratton Air National Guard Base and others.

Tonko said advocating for the businesses and military installations in the Capital Region is important, as about ten thousand jobs are impacted by defense spending.

"Some of the federal outcomes as of late have been challenging and threatening," said Tonko.

In March, Knolls Atomic Power Laboratories, which operates the Kesselring site, a facility used to train Naval personnel for work on submarines and aircraft carriers, announced federal budget cuts could result in the shutdown of a prototype reactor in 2015.

Tonko said he’s working within the House, along with his colleagues Bill Owens and Chris Gibson, to get adequate funding in next year’s budget to fully support operations at the Kesselring site.

"We're working again with the Appropriations Committee, working with the subcommittee under the Appropriations banner on energy and water, which will enable us to speak to the people most forcefully and get them to have the awareness done is so important, and to understand what they're doing to the military here," said Tonko.

According to KAPL, 700 Navy and civilian personnel are assigned to the MARF prototype reactor at the Kesselring site.