Note to Members re: State Job Vacancies and Civil Service Exams

May 12, 2023

On Wednesday the Hochul Administration announced that, in an effort to fill state job vacancies, it is suspending the civil service exam requirement for over 100 state job titles.  The news came as a shock to numerous associations and coalitions that represent nonprofit community-based organizations that are drowning under the weight of massive workforce shortages. 

This morning I wrote a strong statement in response to the Press Release (below).  It is currently moving through an approval process by the 12 mental health and substance use disorder associations that work together on various budget and policy priorities.  My hope is that the statement will hit the streets on Monday morning.  In the meantime, NYS Council members should know we prepared a response that calls on the Administration to quickly convene a task force that will identify and implement immediate solutions to our workforce crisis.  While we elected to share what I wrote with our advocacy partners for group sign on, if the larger group decides against releasing it, we will respond on our own.  

Stand by. 

Here’s the press release announcing the suspension of the Civil Service Exam requirement for select state job titles: 

For Immediate Release: 5/10/2023 GOVERNOR KATHY HOCHUL


Hiring for Emergency Limited Placement Program Temporarily Waives Civil Service Exam Requirement for Select Titles

New HELP Jobs Portal Available for Candidates to View Job Postings and Upload Resumes

HELP Virtual Career Fair Will be Held on May 11 to Highlight Available Jobs Across More Than Ten New York State Agencies – Register to Attend Here

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced thousands of state jobs are open and available for immediate hiring in the health and human services fields across ten state agencies as part of the Hiring for Emergency Limited Placement Program in an effort to address the statewide workforce shortage in critical health and safety titles across state government. A new webpage and portal are available that list the HELP job openings and allows candidates to upload an application and resume for positions they are interested in at the following address:

“From the medical personnel staffing our hospitals to the social workers connecting families to vital services, the brave New Yorkers who support the health and human services sector are our state’s everyday heroes,” Governor Hochul said. “In light of a recent worker shortage, New York State is taking temporary measures to help agencies fill critical roles in health and human services and promote the safety and well-being of all New Yorkers. There are thousands of opportunities available, and I urge anyone considering a career in public service to visit the HELP Portal and attend our virtual career fair to learn more about this important work.”

Department of Civil Service Commissioner and Civil Service Commission President Timothy R. Hogues said, “The Department of Civil Service is working proactively to help recruit the next generation of the New York State workforce. The HELP program is just one step we are taking to help our partner state agencies attract and retain a diverse and talented workforce that can serve all New Yorkers well into the future. I encourage all individuals to visit the webpage and apply for all positions that you are interested in to begin a rewarding career that offers many benefits with New York State.”

Acting State Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald said, “The Department of Health looks forward to onboarding a new, diverse, and gifted workforce that will play a critical role in supporting, as well as educating New Yorkers about public health. The HELP Program will assist agencies across the state in filling critical positions that will provide quality resources to individuals and families.”

New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities Commissioner Kerri Neifeld, “New York State is making it easier than ever to pursue a career in health and human services and OPWDD is grateful for efforts to simplify the hiring process for direct support professionals and other titles through the HELP program. Building back our workforce is a priority for the agency as we work to improve access to services and fulfill our mission of community acceptance and inclusion for people with developmental disabilities.”

New York State Office for Children and Family Services Acting Commissioner Suzanne Miles Gustave said, “With New York State facing a human services workforce shortage of historic proportions, Governor Hochul and our partners at the Department of Civil Service have recognized the need to address this crisis and the HELP program will assist in bringing a diverse pool of qualified, passionate professionals into the field. I am excited to see how the new additions to our service efforts provide critical support to our vulnerable children, families and communities at a time when it’s needed the most.”

New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said, “New York State careers provide competitive pay, amazing benefits, and open doors to opportunities. The Department of Labor is proud to partner with Civil Service through our statewide digital public awareness campaign and by hosting a virtual career fair to connect New Yorkers to careers they will love.”

The HELP Program temporarily removes the civil service exam requirement for more than 100 direct care, health and human services titles across State agencies for a 12-month period. To be eligible for jobs in the HELP program, candidates must meet the jobs’ minimum qualifications and any other conditions of employment. Candidates should visit the HELP Jobs Portal and use the candidate portal to apply for jobs in the HELP program. Candidates from diverse backgrounds and traditionally-marginalized communities are encouraged to apply.

To highlight the many career opportunities currently available as part of the HELP program, all jobseekers are invited to attend the New York State HELP Virtual Career Fair being held on Thursday, May 11 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The job fair will feature a variety of State agencies with a special focus on the many positions immediately available and filled by the HELP program. The career fair will also include an informational session on the HELP program to help jobseekers begin their New York State careers. To register and learn more, click here.

As part of the HELP program, New York State has launched a statewide social media campaign, which includes videos and web content to help attract candidates to apply for these critical positions. Campaign content and additional information and resources to help candidates understand the program is available at

The HELP Program was developed to help address the statewide workforce shortage in critical health and safety titles across state government. Titles appropriate for hiring under the HELP Program are limited to positions that provide critical services to meet the basic health, safety, and daily needs of New Yorkers. Examples of some of the most populous titles included in the program are Direct Support Assistant, Licensed Practical Nurse, Registered Nurse (Teaching and Research), Licensed Master Social Worker, Mental Health Therapy Aide and Psychologist.

To learn more about working for the State of New York and how to take the next step in pursuing a rewarding career in public service, please visit the Department of Civil Service website and follow the Department on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.