HSC Forum

Statue of two people conversing.


Convened by the Human Services Coalition, the HSC Forum facilitates community dialogues on topics impacting our local area. Topics and speakers that have been especially beneficial to the community have included Heating Tompkins (energy assistance programs), Planning and Implementing Successful Outreach to Underserved Populations, The Annual Local Funders Panel, and forums to discuss the impacts of state and local funding decisions.

The HSC Forum is free and open to the public; all who are interested in human services and their efficient delivery are urged to attend.

Upcoming HSC Forums


Past HSC Forums

Wednesday, November 9, 2022: What’s New in Tompkins County Transportation Services?

Transportation Panel Slide Presentation

Representatives from local transportation provider agencies will be in attendance to share important updates and new initiatives around transportation for the community.  We strongly encourage attendance by caseworkers working with individuals who are experiencing barriers and needs related to transportation. There will be ample time for questions and discussion during the presentation.

Panel presenters:
Jeff Goodmark, Ithaca Bikeshare
Meloney McMurry, Way2Go Tompkins
Dwight Mengel, Tompkins County DSS
Nicole Roulstin, 2-1-1 Tompkins/Cortland
Scot Vanderpool, TCAT
Kristen Wells, Gadabout

Wednesday, September 14, 2022: Tompkins Community Recovery Fund Program

The Tompkins County Legislature has created the TCRF to provide one-time grant funding to eligible organizations to assist with recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. They have engaged MRB Group to manage the grant process.

Tracy Verrier, project manager at MRB Group, will provide an overview of including program priorities, eligibility criteria, application guidelines, and project timelines. It is anticipated that applications will be accepted beginning late September 2022.

The program’s aim is to grant $6.5 million to local organizations and businesses to undertake projects that address the impacts of the COVID-19 including equity and social justice impacts; support local not-for-profit organizations and small businesses impacted by shutdowns; build long-term capacity and resilience; and address long-term, critical gaps in services such as child care, job training, and affordable housing.

There will be ample time for attendee questions. You can also submit them in advance when you register for the Forum.

Program & Application Frequently Asked Questions

About the presenter: Tracy Verrier, Senior Economic Analyst, provides economic development consulting services to MRB Group’s municipal and business clients. She is an experienced economic development practitioner, having previously led the Cayuga Economic Development Agency, Cayuga County Chamber of Commerce, and two industrial development agencies where she developed and implemented multiple pandemic relief and recovery programs. She is well versed in research and data analysis, grant writing, public authorities regulations, and business retention, attraction, and startup strategies.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022: 2023 Tompkins County Budget Presentation

Lisa Holmes, County Administrator, will be presenting on the 2023 Tompkins County budget. Also in attendance will be Shawna Black, Chair, Tompkins County Legislature and Dan Klein, Chair, Health & Human Services Committee. 

George Ferrari, CEO, Community Foundation of Tompkins County serves as the Forum’s facilitator.

Administrator Lisa Holmes will present the fiscal and economic factors driving next year’s budget. She will also review the 2023 budget process, which will take place over the next five months. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2022: Workforce Development in Health & Human Services – Challenges, Resources, and Strategies 

Join us for a panel discussion about Tompkins County workforce in the health and human services sector. We will address current workforce challenges, resources available to you and your agencies to support workforce development (training, funding, etc.), and potential strategies to navigate our current environment.


Brian Forrest, Vice President for Human Resources, Cayuga Medical Center

Joe Palladino, Adult Education Administrator, TST BOCES 

Cindy Sloan, Workforce Specialist, Tompkins County Workforce

Carrie Whitmore, Director of Continuing Education & Workforce Development, TC3/Biz 

Facilitated by George Ferrari, CEO, Community Foundation of Tompkins County

Thursday, July 22, 2021: New York State HERO Act – What Employers Need to Know

Download the Slide Presentation

On May 5, 2021 Governor Cuomo signed into law the New York Health and Essential Rights Act (the HERO Act) which is intended to prevent current and future occupational exposure to airborne infectious diseases at workplaces. The Act applies to private sector employers in New York State (municipalities or other government agencies excluded).

The HERO Act makes permanent some of the guidelines from the New York Forward initiative, including requiring employers to prepare and adopt model airborne infectious disease plans. 

Moreover, the HERO Act requires employers with ten or more employees to allow employees to establish joint labor management workplace safety committees. The Act applies to all airborne infectious diseases, not just COVID-19.

Emily A. Middlebrook, Esq., Labor & Employment attorney with Hancock Estabrook, LLP, provides an overview of the HERO Act, outline specific requirements and implementation timelines, and provide recommendations on what organizations can do to prepare for the new requirements.