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Queens nonprofit CIDA celebrates grand opening of new community center in Bayside

Mar. 9, 2023 By Ethan Marshall

Members of the Queens nonprofit Community Inclusion and Development Alliance (CIDA) celebrated the grand opening of its new community center with a ribbon cutting Wednesday, March 8, in Bayside.

The CIDA Community Center, located at 36-28 Bell Blvd., will assist the organization as it works to assist in professional development for individuals with disabilities and family-oriented support services.

CIDA

Photo by Victoria Levy/CIDA

The community center aims to provide a hub for locals and groups to come together and collaborate in the pursuit of common goals. This would then go a long way towards CIDA’s goal of increasing equity and inclusion opportunities for individuals with disabilities, as they have the opportunity to better develop or hone their skills while attracting the attention of potential employers.

CIDA

Photo by Ethan Marshall

According to CIDA Executive Director Young Seh Bae, the space was built based upon the idea of creating inclusive programs, art and workforce development for young adults with exceptional needs.

CIDA

Photo by Ethan Marshall

Some of the works of art created by a few of these individuals was hanging on display inside the community center for all to see. Bae said that different works will be put on exhibit there each month, based on different themes. She also noted that the pieces were available for purchase, with all revenue going to the artists.

CIDA

Photo by Ethan Marshall

“We will soon invite local business leaders for various collaborations, including worker retention strategies, providing accommodations to workers disabilities and business capacity,” Bae said. “We have a workforce development program based on Social Co-op. Social Co-op is a very unique approach. We directly work with the community. We want to be exposed to local businesses and employers, so they can see how capable our individuals are and hire our trainees.”

CIDA’s Social Co-op program is known as CoSpire. It was established to to deliver individualized assistance and create integrative employment opportunities for people with unique challenges.

In addition to having an art and job training program, the CIDA Community Center will also have a cooking program. Additionally, CIDA will be able to educate local businesses on the benefits of hiring those in CoSpire and increasing their capacity as a local business,. This includes social media strategy, marketing strategy and employee retention programs.

CIDA Board Chair John Jahng spoke about the significance of CIDA having its own community center devoted to assisting those with disabilities. He views the new location as a good indicator that the organization is growing.

“The opening of this second location is really special because it’s telling us that we are doing the right thing, not only for ourselves, but for the entire disability community around us,” Jahng said. “I really want to thank Dr. Bae as well as all the staff members who are here. Without our community, we don’t have CIDA.”

Prior to the opening of this new community center, CIDA’s lone location was in Suite A2 of 38-50 Bell Blvd. While that location shares the floor with other organizations, this one has an area all to itself.

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