6.0 Major Accomplishments

6.3 Program Testimonials

The Professional Development Program sets high standards and strives to be a premiere continuing professional education program for those who work in, with, or for the public sector. PDP has become known for both the high quality of its work and the excellence of its people. Comments that were received from constituents over the past year clearly reflect the outstanding nature of its programs and the exemplary accomplishments of staff in meeting PDP’s high standards of excellence in the delivery of its various programs. Highlighted below are samplings of kudos that recognize the high-quality work of PDP during the past year.

6.3.1 OTDA Center for Employment and Economic Supports Training Resource System (CEES01)

“Please tell the folks at PDP that it has been my pleasure working with them and, of course, the PDP management. PDP has been wonderful in interpreting our policies and delivering them with such professionalism. We are lucky to be able to work side by side with you.”

— From a Temporary Assistance Bureau Program Specialist at the NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance as shared by an OTDA Training Contract Manager

“It is such a pleasure to work with and rely upon such a group of hard-working, competent, capable, and pleasant people. Thank you for making my job easier.”

— From a NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Training Contract Manager

“I just wanted to commend the trainers on a job well done. They were very knowledgeable in all of the subject matter they presented and they did a great job at engaging the class for the duration of the course. It was great to see the enthusiasm they brought to the class.”

— From a NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance
Employment Services Advisor

“We recognize the hard work that went into the design and implementation of the Administering the MMS Mental Health Screening Tool training and the three ABAWD training webinars.”

— From a NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance
Training Contract Manager

“The trainers did an awesome job [with the Employment Services Training Institute for TA and SNAP].”

— From a NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Training Contract Manager

“As you are aware, I attended this last offering of the Employment Services Training Institute for TA and SNAP. And I have to tell you, I was extremely impressed with the co-training. The trainers played off each other perfectly and did an awesome job. They made sure that every question was answered and that every attendee was clear on every aspect of the training. They were quick to take a step back when attendees where unclear in areas and ensured that everyone’s expectations of the course were met; all while keeping things upbeat. The attendees seemed to really enjoy themselves. They make a great team and made me feel proud to be a part of the program.”

— From a NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Training Contract Manager

“I thought all of the Administering the MMS Mental Health Screening Tool training sessions went very well. Thank you for your hard work.”

— From a NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance
Employment Services Advisor

“At the Western New York regional district meeting, a Staff Development Coordinator reported that he thought the three ABAWD training webinar courses were very good.”

— From the Director of Training at the NYS Office of Temporary
and Disability Assistance

“I just received a phone call from the head of the TA Bureau expressing her appreciation for all the hard work and effort that was put into designing and delivering the Recovery of Liens and Requirement to Provide Biennial Accounting Training these past few months. She had heard both from local district and TA staff that the training hit the mark and the trainers were well prepared and did a great job. Thanks everyone and congratulations on a job well done.”

— From the Temporary Assistance Policy Director at the NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance as shared by an OTDA Training Contract Manager

“I listened to the entire Recovery of Liens and Requirement to Provide Biennial Accounting Training yesterday and thought you guys did a really nice job. Thank you!”

— From a Temporary Assistance Bureau Program Specialist at the NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance

“The Recovery of Liens and Requirement to Provide Biennial Accounting Training went really well. A lot of great work was done. We greatly appreciate it.”

— From a Temporary Assistance Bureau Program Specialist at the NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance

“The trainers are doing an excellent job… keep up the great work.”

— From a Temporary Assistance Bureau Program Specialist at the NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance

“I thought they did a nice job, well organized and presented.”

— From a Temporary Assistance Bureau Program Specialist at the NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance

“I want to thank everyone for all the effort in getting this material accurately developed and delivered timely.”

— From the Temporary Assistance Policy Director at the NYS Office of
Temporary and Disability Assistance

“I just want to pass along my personal kudos to all involved in the course development – I think the course is great – I found it to be very well designed… you all did a great job on the development of this course.”

— From a PDP colleague

“I wanted to thank you once again. You were all extremely knowledgeable and helpful at last week’s Institute for Temporary Assistance Programs. I really appreciate it.”

— From a PDP colleague

“I just wanted to reach out and say what an awesome job you all did in completing three straight weeks of ITAP training, including a week away in Syracuse. While not everyone can truly appreciate how challenging this is, I wanted to acknowledge all your hard work. You are experts in your policy areas, and effective and engaging trainers.”

— From a PDP colleague

“I just want to say thank you to all of you for your hard work, flexibility, and customer service during the SNAP Training Institute.”

— From a PDP Training Program Coordinator

“I want to let you know how impressed I am with the HEAP Training Team. Congratulations to all in developing this team!”

— From a NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Training Contract Manager

“I would cordially like to thank you for letting me participate in the SNAP Training Institute this past week. I now have a better understanding of the SNAP program as a whole. I would like to point out what a terrific job was done by the trainers. They were very kind and kept us all motivated (especially while we were away from our families). Once again, thank you for everything you have done for me over the past week. Just yesterday I used one of the techniques I learned while at the program and, frankly, I believe this training is definitely worth the time.”

— From a social services district employee and trainee

“Big thanks to the HEAP training team who made this such a successful season. The sponsor as well as the training groups were impressed! You did an excellent job delivering some of the most critical pieces of the training agenda.”

— From a PDP colleague

“I think the TA/SNAP Worker Training Path looks very professional, is easy to navigate, and will certainly meet the planning needs of the Staff Development Coordinators. Well done.”

— From a NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Training Contract Manager

“I want to thank all of you for your great and valued participation in the interview roll-ins for the OTDA SNAP Civil Rights webcast. Your hard work, humor, and timeliness were appreciated by all. I have seen the draft version and you were all spectacular! Again, thank you for participating in this important OTDA initiative!”

— From a NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Training Contract Manager

“I want to say a very sincere thank you for your hard work and involvement in the rehearsal and taping of the OTDA SNAP Civil Rights Training this week. It is always great to see all collaborating effortlessly on an important training initiative. The training will be a great. Thanks again!”

— From a NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Training Contract Manager

“I viewed the OTDA SNAP Civil Rights Training webcast yesterday. Each of you did a fabulous job with your respective on-air roles and represented PDP and OTDA exceptionally well. The trainers demonstrated great effectiveness and competency in their presentations as panelists, lead trainers, and subject matter experts. Each was engaging and enjoyable to watch.”

— From the PDP Manager of the Department of Temporary Assistance Training

“I was very impressed by the Westchester delivery [of SNAP Civil/Human Rights Designee Training].”

— From a NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Training Contract Manager

“Thank you all for the presentation yesterday on the TA/SNAP Worker Training Path and ITAP Trainee Developmental Assessment Tool at Staff Development Advisory Committee Meeting. We appreciate your effort both in developing the “Path” and the assessment tool and putting the presentation together.”

— From a NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Training Contract Manager

“Thanks for your presentation yesterday on designing a Worker Training Plan for social services district TA/SNAP workers. It is certainly a team effort on your behalf in helping design a program that will be of a great benefit not only to Staff Development Coordinators, but also the workers in the local districts.”

— From the PDP Executive Director

“Thank you so very much for taking time out of your busy schedule to meet with our department’s staff! The information you shared will be so incredibly helpful in our efforts to train thousands of system users via “iLinc through webinar format” this spring. Most appreciated!”

— From the PDP Manager of the Department of Computer Training Services

Below are all comments from social services district trainees who attended trainings:

  • “Great course – I learned a lot! Trainers were great!”
  • “This course was delivered effectively by the trainers. They answered all questions and had interesting activities to teach the material. I feel more confident in my understanding of job tasks.”
  • “It was very informational. I enjoyed the interactive activities. Effective addressing many different learning styles. The instructors were great!”
  • “I loved the presenters.”
  • “The way the material was taught in conjunction with the case studies and role playing was fantastic in helping me be able to retain the information.”
  • “I really like how the role-playing activities reinforce our learning by putting it all into practice.”
  • “This course is very informative and the knowledge gained will make my duties at work easier to accomplish.”
  • “This course was very informative and a great learning experience.”
  • “The course was well presented, clear, and informative.”
  • “The course gave me many resources to use in the future.”
  • “Well taught. Well designed and organized.”
  • “I enjoyed the pace of the course.”

6.3.2 OTDA Training Resource System for Employment & Economic Supports, Administrative Hearings, and NYC Harlem Training Center (HRA01)

“I just wanted to send you an email to tell you how pleased our staff was with the Effective Agency Representation at Fair Hearings training last week. The trainers were excellent and the material so relevant to the job. Thank you again and please let the trainers know they did an outstanding job.”

— From a social services district Staff Development Coordinator

“I know designing the Training Plan for Hearing Officers was an especially heavy lift considering all the training you have been doing along with all your other assignments. We sincerely thank you for being so conscientious and hard working. You are a wonderful group of people to work with.”

— From a NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Training Contract Manager

“Kudos to the entire team on a superb Training Plan for Hearing Officers.”

— From a NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Training Contract Manager

“Thanks for your update on the training for Hearing Officers. I found it most interesting.”

— From the PDP Executive Director

“Thank you again for presenting two sessions of “Representing Your Agency at Fair Hearings” at the NYWFIA Annual Training Seminar. You did a great job with the deliveries and with the curriculum preparation. You provided the social services district Welfare Fraud Investigators who attended with food for thought and strategies for improving their roles as Agency Representatives, giving testimony, and Fair Hearing outcomes. Additionally, an NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Training Contract Manager had great things to say about his participation in one of your sessions.”

— From the PDP Manager of the Department of Temporary Assistance Training

“I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge how proactive you were… Great teamwork ensures a successful training. Thank You.”

— From a PDP colleague

“PDP’s Harlem Training Center reservationist has been a mainstay for us at the Harlem Training Center… She is consistently professional in her interactions with all levels of staff and visiting trainees.”

— From the Director of Training at the NYS Office of Temporary
and Disability Assistance

“Thank you for all your help last week at the Harlem Training Center. It’s very much appreciated.”

— From a PDP colleague

“I wanted to let you that PDP’s Harlem Training Center reservationist has been incredibly helpful and patient with us as we go through this process. She was great with booking the rooms and was really helpful to me today.”

— From an Assistant Deputy Commissioner at the NYS Office of
Temporary and Disability Assistance

“Thank you for getting the room at the Harlem Training Center set up when participants began to arrive a bit earlier than expected. It is behind-the-scenes work that makes a huge impact on our training day. Thank you for all your help and support yesterday, it made the day a great success.”

— From the PDP HEAP Regional Training Team

“Thank you all very much for your outstanding and informative presentations this morning on iLinc 12. It was clear that significant time and effort went into creating them. The presentations hit on very timely topics for us. This kind of information sharing is invaluable for all of us. Again, thank you for the great presentations.”

— From a PDP Director

Below are all comments from social services district trainees who attended trainings:

  • “The trainers were knowledgeable about the content and the learning objectives were clearly stated.”
  • “The trainers were wonderful.”
  • “The course was very interesting and it is going to be very useful to my job.”
  • “This course was very useful and well prepared.”
  • “I will apply what I learned.”
  • “The training manual has everything a person would want to know abou.t”
  • “Educational, informative.”
  • “I learned a lot!”
  • “Excellent and very much needed!”
  • “Effective and to the point.”

6.3.3 OTDA Conference and Regional Support (MGMTCRS)

“Hats off to PDP for their work on the Fall 2015 NYWFIA Regional Training Meetings.”

— From a NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Training Contract Manager

“I have heard nothing but great things about yesterday! [Regarding the Eat Smart New York Training Conference]”

— From a NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Training Contract Manager

“Thank you again for all you and PDP did to help make our conference a success.
From the SNAP Nutrition Education and Outreach Assistant Statewide Coordinator
Great teamwork!”

— From a NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Training Contract Manager

“During the NYWFIA Regional Meeting welcome, the NYWFIA President thanked PDP for showering its talented and dedicated staff on NYWFIA.”

— From the New York Welfare Fraud Investigator Association President
as shared by a PDP Manager

“We sure had a busy week -- and a busy month of August for that matter, as everything was being finalized and prepared for the three events. I wanted to take a moment to recognize the efforts and attention to detail that went in to pulling it all off -- something that would have been hard to accomplish without each of you. Your professionalism, skills, positive attitude, and problem solving were very much key to the success of the events. Thank you all again.”

— From the Assistant Director of Training at the NYS Office of
Temporary and Disability Assistance

“The three separate but similar events scheduled for next week created more detailed work than anyone imagined. Each of these events was non-conforming to usual practice and procedure. That you were able to manage the postings, registrations, confirmations, and other details with all the complexity, short timeframes, and emerging registration features is a testament to your diligence and high organizational skills…When these tasks happen all at once, encompassing over 400 trainees over two consecutive days, then your herculean efforts are well noted and greatly appreciated. Thank you very much.”

— From a PDP Event Planning Coordinator

“You have done tremendous work in attending to the details of these events and making these extremely complex tasks appears seamless to our customer. You have our complete appreciation for your individual work and team work. Thank you.”

— From the PDP Manager of the Department of Temporary Assistance Training

“Thank you to all of you. The work that you do sending out print bids, working with the printer, preparing name badges and table tents, and all of the other event-support functions you do enables the training team to succeed with each delivery. Whether you were ensuring that a last minute change was made or rounding up the last of our binders for our next delivery, our work could not be done without your effort. The kudos we receive from our participants and from our sponsors are passed on to you as well. Our training succeeds because of your hard work and determination. Thank you all for making each training a success.”

— From the PDP HEAP Regional Training Team

6.3.4 OTDA Audit and Quality Improvement Training Initiatives (TADA03)

“Thank you for all of your efforts on your project work.”

— From a NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Training Contract Manager

Thank you again for presenting two sessions of “Calculation and Recovery of TA Overpayments Using WMS” at the NYWFIA Annual Training Seminar. You provided a great interactive training experience for the social services district Welfare Fraud Investigators who attended. You demonstrated tremendous subject matter expertise and enthusiasm for the training content and WFI tasks. Additionally, the Director of the TA Bureau had fabulous things to say about the material and your deliveries. These sessions definitely hit the mark.”

— From the PDP Manager of the Department of Temporary Assistance Training

Below are all comments from social services district trainees who attended the Welfare Fraud Investigator Training Institute:

  • “Interactive, fun, interesting.”
  • “Excellent! Everyone who is hired should take this course.”
  • “This course was extremely informative and I enjoyed it.”
  • “The course was very good and comprehensive.”
  • “Well defined objectives; clear connection of course material to investigative procedures.”
  • “This course was very thought out and very well organized.”
  • “They are excellent instructors.”

6.3.5 CONNECTIONS Training Project

Our courses and trainers are routinely recognized by trainees for their accessible approach and applicability to trainees’ needs, along with their knowledge and thoughtfulness. As a trainee in an Access course noted, “Thanks again for your patience and work. I truly appreciated your teaching manner; …you were organized and forthright, and you taught in bite-size, simple pieces… continually checking to be sure your class was following along okay and often asked if there were any questions. I also really liked your enthusiasm and energy and personal touch, occasionally interjecting personal ideas and preferences. You make someone want to really learn the subject…”.

6.3.6 Child Welfare

Adolescent Services Training

“Melissa, thank you for the awesome training yesterday, it was quite insightful and I learned a lot of very useful information. Also, with your interactive training style, it makes it extremely easier to remember the information. I look forward to using all these great tools!”

— From Gustavus Adolphus Family Services

“Kim, thanks for all your hard work creating two spectacular and professional documents for all of the YES staff to use in our regions. I so appreciate that you helped get us off the ground running, and that you provided all of us with an opportunity to provide input that you incorporated into the final pieces. Way to go!”

— From a Youth Engagement Specialist at PDP

“Paul and Catie, the majority of my staff has come to me with feedback I never hear about trainings. They have all shared with me that it was a “great” and “fantastic” training and that they were not bored or lost at any time. The interactive process kept them enjoying it and interested. They also stated that the trainers were excellent and knew the information in a way that caused staff to retain it. I have not heard such enthusiasm over a training in a very long time.”

— From the Program Coordinator at Glove House Inc.

“Greg, I just wanted to add that your training last week was one of the best we have had the privilege in attending in quite some time. Thank you so much for your motivating and engaging presentation!”

— From the Director of Foster Care at Children’s Home of Jefferson County
Core Essential Skills Training

“I just wanted to take a minute to thank everyone for being creative and designing the one-day Safety & Risk Refresher training for Otsego County. I believe this training really met our needs, the refresher ensured staff know the difference between safety and risk and that they know they have to do something if it is a safety factor/issue. I now know that all of my staff are on the same page (newer staff as well as those that have been her longer). I also want to let you know that I had some staff tell me that they thought it was a great training and thought it was helpful. The practice time and group discussions were very beneficial to the training and staff since we had a mix at each table. Liz, Dave & Jenn – thank you for a great training!”

— From the Staff Development Coordinator at Otsego DSS

“Can you please email me when the next round of trainings will be held and where? I am having an amazing experience with Dave and Jennifer and would like to plan to send all my staff to this training. Thanks so much!”

— From the Program Director at Dutchess County Prevention Services, Astor Services for Children & Families

Casework Documentation Training

“Tabetha, Livingston County had two participants at your recent presentation of Progress Notes. They were very impressed with your work. Always good to hear that it was worthwhile and that the trainer handled the group at various levels of motivation.”

— From the Staff Development Coordinator at Livingston County DSS

“Diane, the training you provided on foster care issues was very helpful. Thank you so much. The staff and I really appreciate you coming out and giving us the personal attention that you did. I am also speaking with my counties and getting better feedback about some of the issues we discussed. Thank you again. You were SO helpful.”

— From the Program Coordinator at Northeast Parent & Child Society

HESC College Access Challenge Grant

“Mr. Agyeman, you were best part of yesterday’s experience at Syracuse University. You are amazing to just hear speak. It is THIS information, mentoring, and thinking that will make for better outcomes all around. Our youth need to see, touch, hear from other successful, positive people whom have been in their shoes - are still standing and standing STRONG. Beautiful moment, thank you for providing such. You spoke, and those kids responded, were in moment - and heard you. Thank you for the opportunity, it was great experience and needed. You are the best!”

— From a staff member at Liberty Resources Independent Living

6.3.7 Licensing Training Project

Regarding Legally-Exempt Enrollment Training

“I just want you to know that the legally-exempt enrollment trainings for enrollment agencies are going great. Lakia (Green) has excellent mastery of the topics, is flexible as needed, is receptive to DCCS feedback, responsive to and liked by the trainees and is able to move through the material effectively even when participants get stuck in a rut. Considering the new concepts and timeline we had to get this out, it’s impressive! I am sure there are many other good things I could say, but I think you get the idea. We are very thankful to have Lakia as our trainer.”

— From the Division of Child Care Services within the NYS Office of
Children and Family Services

Regarding Child Care Subsidy Training

“Thank you so much, Lakia. This is a great resource that we haven’t used. I appreciate your comments about an “engaged” audience. I have already requested some changes and clarified some procedures here, and the word ‘varied’ will never again appear alone in our schedule section. We also had a complaint (an infrequent event here) and were able to act decisively thanks to fresh information. I really benefited from this session, even though I was not enthusiastic at sign-up. I’ve been to your trainings before. I should have known better.”

— From a training participant

“I just wanted to share with you that I really enjoyed your training yesterday. It was just a great day and I took a lot from it. Finally some help and direction after all these years!!! Woohoo!!! Have a great weekend!”

— From a training participant

Regarding Supervision and Management for Owner/Operators of Multi-Site Programs Training

“I wanted to thank you for the training I took on July 21 for multiple daycare owners. The training was very informative, well-structured and was given over in a very professional manner. I learned a lot of things which I put into use right away. What really impressed me was how you took the time and effort to learn each participants name and tried to ensure that each person would get the most out of it. May you have much success.”

— From a training participant

6.3.8 Public Service Workshop Program

“The experience of the presenters was very helpful to get me to come out of my Bubble and move forward with my leadership abilities. I was able to network with several different representatives from facilities across the state.”

— From a Nurse Leadership Development Program participant

“The instructors were friendly and very informative. The material was presented in a creative way and encouraged collaboration with colleagues.”

— From a Nurse Leadership Development Program participant

“The training I was at was very enlightening and powerful. Kudos to all who were involved in presenting or bringing it to our COs, as well as those who participated.”

— From a GOER Contract Manager (in regard to the
Suicide Awareness Training for NYSCOPBA)

“I thoroughly enjoyed the course and learned a great deal about adult learning.”

— From a GOER Contract Manager (in regard to the
NYS Rutgers Trainer Certification Program)

“Just wanted to let you know that the 2016 course was shorter, easier to understand, and better than the one in 2015!”

— From a training participant from NYS DEC (in regard to the
online NYS Information and Cyber Security Awareness course)

6.3.9 Instructional Technology Programs

“I think this tool (TA/SNAP Worker Training Path) looks very professional, is easy to navigate, and will certainly meet the planning needs of the SDCs.”

— From an OTDA Contract Manager

“I am always impressed with your team’s knowledge and willingness to work with us. Thank you again.”

— From the GOER Training Director

“On behalf of the whole SLMS Team, I wanted to express my thanks for your work over the last week to fix the four mandated training courses in SLMS. We truly appreciate your responsiveness and ability to find and fix the problem in an expedited manner. Your hard work made it easier for us to deal with the phone calls and emails we were receiving. All of the new content is now loaded in SLMS and working beautifully, which has reduced the volume of calls the Help Desk is receiving. Once again, on behalf of all of us here, thank you for hard work.”

— From the SLMS Global Systems Administrator

6.3.10 Media Production

“Dear Fellow Colleagues- If anyone missed the video conference last night on the Pyramid Model, it was amazing! If anyone was concerned that a free 2 hour videoconference would deter providers from attending their full modules that they may have to pay for, it will not. In reality, it was a two hour training about the amazing impact the Pyramid Model will have on your program and all children/families. The round table in-depth conversation with Colleen, Patty Persell and Lynn Lubecki was only surpassed by the fabulous video clips of the Pyramid Model in Action at RCN (Rochester Childfirst Network), featuring our fellow Master Cadre MacKenzie Albert. As I sat in the room watching the participants’ faces and comments, I was so proud to be a Master Cadre. Because it ended with encouraging everyone to contact their regional Master Cadres, I was thrilled to be able to fill in the gaps for them while in the room for their next steps locally.”

— From a Pyramid Model Master Cadre Trainer

6.3.11 Early Childhood Education and Training

“Thank you so much to an always responsive and highly supportive team.”

— From a participating training organization

“Jill- Thank you for putting together this summary of events for me. I have been slowly working on trying to figure out where we were with this and this spreadsheet makes it much easier. I really appreciate you taking the time to put this together! I know that you have gone above and beyond in helping me put this all together and I want you to know that I recognize that and truly appreciate it!”

— From a participating training organization

“You are the best!!!!!!!!!!! I will send you the list tomorrow and I am emailing the director now. I can’t thank you enough!”

— From a participating training organization

“Dear EIP Event Approval Team: On behalf of Vita Center Inc. and HEI we would like to thank you for your attention and efforts in reviewing our curriculum. Our early childhood community is in gratitude.”

— From a participating training organization

6.3.12 Distance Learning Training Iniatives

“What a thrill it is to see an idea come to fruition, the crew worked very hard on bringing the ideas and concepts from mere thoughts into something that made sense and “played well” on the screen. Appreciated all the graphics and transitions they really added to the production and of course thanks to Darina’s ever so smooth narration.”

— From the Supervisor of Facility Security within the Division of Juvenile Justice and Opportunities for Youth at the NYS Office of Children and Family Services

Regarding the SNAP Civil Rights Training webcast

“Frequent communication, organized and productive meetings, professional and expert studio staff. It was a pleasure working with the PDP team, I’m looking forward to doing it again.”

— From the Director of the Bureau of Equal Opportunity and Diversity within the NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance