ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Hillside is looking for more employees as it serves Rochester area children and families with a wide range of challenges.

Hillside President and CEO Maria Cristalli discussed the organization’s long history of services and its current challenges Wednesday during our Greater Rochester Enterprise Why ROC conversation.

“Hillside has a long history in the Greater Rochester community,” Cristalli said. “Since 1837 our agency has been committed to helping youth and families find their pathways to stronger futures. We have changed and evolved to be relevant to the communities we serve. Today we have more than 1,800 employees who serve on the team and we’re serving 11,000 youth and families each and every year. They’re helping the youngsters with complex needs such as poverty, trauma, difficulty in school, and mental health challenges.”

Hillside has expanded its reach to much of Western and Central New York — and even into Maryland. As Hillside has grown, new opportunities are emerging for qualified and committed people.

More than half of its workforce remains in the Rochester area where it was founded.

“We’re looking for people with a strong desire to make a difference in their community,” Cristalli said. “There’s such a variety of roles available here at Hillside. You can work directly with youth and families on one of our residential campuses, in our group homes, and in community-based settings. Teachers and teacher assistants work deliberately and carefully with our students in our schools and day-treatment settings. We need clinicians, licensed clinical social workers, psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, and nurse practitioners to deliver the clinical interventions for our youth. Behind the scenes, there’s much work to make all of that happen. We have roles in food services, environmental services, and administrative functions such as marketing, public relations, and technology. I want to emphasize that educational backgrounds and skillsets vary for each of the roles that I mentioned but many Hillside positions are accessible to individuals with a high school diploma.”

Cristalli said longevity is one of the elements that makes Hillside unique in the Rochester area. The organization is coming up on 185 years of service to this community in February.

“We know the community well,” she noted. “We partner well with child-serving systems such as schools, pediatricians, and other organizations that we collaborate with to do this work on behalf of families. Hillside recently became one of the largest employers to move to a $15 minimum starting wage for all of the roles that I mentioned. It’s really important that we have people join the team who want to work on behalf of children and families so we offer competitive compensation, an excellent benefits package, and generous paid time off so that individuals who join our team have time for work-life balance which is so important.”

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