Regarding the section in the May 19 issue on Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection, I would like to share some additional information about HWSC’s formation.
The Monroe County Department of Social Services had been one of the early funders of the Wegmans Work Scholarship Program. I was the Social Services director from 1992 until my retirement in 2002.
In the mid-1990s, I was contacted by a member of Danny Wegman’s staff, who asked that we meet to discuss the administrative structure of the program. Since the county and the United Way of Greater Rochester were the primary cash funders of the program, our continued involvement was critical.
Diane Larter (MCDSS deputy director of Children/Families Services) and I met with Danny, Gerry Pierce (Wegmans vice president for human resources) and others to discuss how to go about transferring the administrative responsibilities from Wegmans to a new entity.
We at DSS offered to put together a request for proposal and advertise it through the proper channels in the same manner as other MCDSS contracts had been awarded. A project team was put together, which included representatives from Wegmans, Monroe County DSS and the United Way. The RFP was issued, proposals were received and reviewed, and Hillside Children’s Center was awarded the contract in 1996. I, along with Danny and Dennis Richardson, head of Hillside, served on the first board of directors of the newly created HWSC.
Once we were contacted by Wegmans and met with Danny, Monroe County and the United Way (under the leadership of Joe Calabrese), we took the lead in developing the RFP, and subsequently awarding the contract to Hillside. The county and the United Way agreed to maintain our funding commitments and allow the program to continue and expand.
— Richard Schauseil
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