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Southeast Works, People Inc. agree to affiliate

Southeast Works, a nonprofit agency based in Depew that provides services for the developmentally disabled, has agreed to become an affiliate of People Inc., the region’s largest human-services organization.

The collaboration, which takes effect this fall, will allow the agencies to pool their resources, operate more efficiently and focus on providing high-quality assistance to their clients, according to a statement released Thursday by the organizations.

No jobs will be lost as a result of the affiliation, and Southeast Works will retain its name and separate corporate status.

Southeast Works was founded in 1974 by a group of families from Alden and Lancaster who wanted to offer employment opportunities for the developmentally disabled from a neighborhood-based center. Today, Southeast Works has 279 workers and serves 500 people through a variety of programs.

However, Southeast Works over the last four years was hit with $1.5 million in state budget cuts, amounting to 13 percent of its budget, said Leslie Garrity, a People Inc. spokeswoman.

Southeast Works said in the statement that it was open to a formal merger in the future.

People Inc., founded in 1970, provides services and programs to more than 12,000 people with special needs, their families and seniors throughout the Western New York region and Rochester.