Planned merger between Unity House and Northeast Career Planning, two longstanding Capital Region human services organizations, announced in May 2020, has been complete, effective January 1.
“Our missions and cultures were well aligned and a merger made a great deal of sense to our boards and our management teams,” said Unity House CEO Chris Burke. “The merger positions us to continue to serve the community in the best possible way. Our commitment to our communities and to our clients remains strong and we are confident that we will now be able to serve more clients more effectively and with expanded services.”
The organization retains the Unity House name but will continue to provide Northeast Career Planning programs and services that will retain their names and be referred to as “a service of Unity House.” Burke leads the new organization as CEO and Nancy Rider, formerly CEO of Northeast Career Planning, will serve as service director for Northeast Career Planning at Unity House.
Before the merger, Unity House employed 350 individuals, and Northeast Career Planning employed 63. The new organization employs 410. Burke said there will be new opportunities for many staff members, which will aid Unity House in expanding programming, especially in employment services.
Unity House has had a strong presence in the community since 1971. During its nearly 50 years it has grown to meet the increasing needs of disadvantaged people to help them lead productive and healthy lives. The organization works to provide a wide range of services to meet the otherwise unmet needs of people who are struggling with poverty, mental illness, HIV/AIDS, and domestic violence. A Child’s Place, a day care and preschool program of Unity House, provides early intervention and pre-school developmental services in speech/language, physical and occupational therapy.
For 66 years, Northeast Career Planning, which was founded in 1954, worked to help people break through barriers to employment. In addition to its Supported Employment Services, it provided work center services; Personal Recovery Oriented Services (PROS) for those with mental illness; work preparedness assessments; interpreter services; vocational rehab for those with chemical dependency issues; education supports for those with barriers to achieving their education goals; school-to-work assistance for youth with disabilities; and job placement, coaching, and support and was an active member of New York State Industries for the Disabled (NYSID).
“Northeast Career Planning has been a leader in providing employment-related services and those services will now enhance the services Unity House provides,” said Burke.