Building Careers since 1917

ICD is a not-for-profit workforce development organization based in New York City. Our mission is to help people transform their lives through career development and employment.

We have been a leader in the field of vocational rehabilitation since our founding in 1917.  We provide vocational evaluation, career planning services, job skills training programs, internships, and job placement services to adults, youth, veterans, entry level employees, and career changers. Our staff is passionate about what we do, and they bring years of experience to the job.

Susan Scheer, Chief Executive Officer - Susan became ICD's CEO in March, 2017.  She brings over 20 years of management and policy experience in the non-profit and government sectors, including launching major programs such as Access-A-Ride and repositioning established organizations such as CIDNY and Columbia University’s Office of Disability Services.  Most recently, she served as the Associate Director of Policy to NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, where her portfolio included education, healthcare, financial security, housing, and disability issues.  She is the volunteer President of the Disabilities Network of New York City (DNNYC), and a recipient of numerous awards for her disability-related advocacy work, including the Alfred P. Sloan Award.  As a successful woman and leader with a disability, Susan serves as a powerful role model for the employment potential of the populations ICD serves.  Susan is a graduate of Yale University.


Kelly Washburn, Executive Director – Kelly has over 10 years’ experience in Vocational Rehabilitation and Workforce Development programing.  Her career has primarily been focused on helping economically disadvantaged individuals attain meaningful employment. In the past she has worked as a 5th grade teacher in the South Bronx, and at organizations including Fedcap and The HOPE Program. Kelly has a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Elementary Education from SUNY Cortland and a Master’s degree in Vocational Rehabilitation Services from Hunter College. She is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC.)


Daria Benson, Director of Programs - After obtaining her Masters in Business Education from NYU in 2001, Daria dedicated herself to adult education.  She is passionate about working with unemployed or underemployed students to help them to get necessary workplace skills.

Daria joined ICD in 2004 to develop an adult education program in Medical Office Administration.  Through the years, she has seen many students achieve their employment and career goals while improving their lives and those of their families.  She has always strived to learn from the diversity of students and their wealth of talents. Education has always been central to Daria's health and well-being, and as such, she is a life-long learner.  She takes the sound of laughter from the class and school halls as a sign that ICD is doing good work.


Joseph Benattar, Senior Manager of Job Development – Joe’s entry into the non-profit recruiting field comes after many years’ experience in product, services and IT consulting companies. His background includes leadership roles in sales, marketing and business operations.

Joe brings a unique mix of business, people, and problem solving skills. He is committed to delivering qualified and vetted candidates who add value to the workplace.  For more than 10 years, Joe has provided outstanding students to successful small, mid-sized and large businesses, giving them the talent to lead their teams. His consultative approach separates him from the typical employment specialist. He takes his reputation as a respected and strategic business advisor very seriously.

Joe graduate from Cohn College with his Masters of Public Administration.  Before that, he got his BA from Brooklyn College.


Richard Pagán, Program Manager for Building, Facilities and Greenworks Training Programs - Richard studied Architectural Drafting in San Juan, Puerto Rico, then returned to the States and became a Journeymen Carpenter. He also worked in property management as a Chief Engineer and was the owner of a General Contracting business.

In 2008, Richard decided to pursue a new profession in the vocational rehabilitation field and relocated to New York City after living in South Florida for 30 years.  He is extremely passionate about assisting others achieve their goals as well as conquering their barriers and challenges. As the Program Manager, he has made many major changes to the operations of the vocational job skills training program here at ICD, while designing and maintaining a state-of-the-art learning facility.

On his personal time, he enjoys cooking, dancing, traveling, riding his Harley, and helping people in need.


Mechelle Norton, Office of Technology and Business Skills Instructor – Mechelle leads a “flipped classroom.” She is the “guide by the side” for students taking self-paced electronic learning courses. Mechelle first worked with ICD in 2011 as the IT/Law Office Manager at a law firm that taught ICD’s students how to digitally archive legal documents.

Over the years, Mechelle has rewrote the curriculum for Office Technology and Business Skills to emphasize IACET certifications in multiple Microsoft applications while utilizing Office Online, cloud collaboration, and social media. She enjoys mentoring students and providing collaborative projects.

Mechelle’s education includes an MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, BS-Physics, Beloit College, post-graduate Computer Science courses and certifications in IT Project Management and Better Software Development, NJIT. She volunteers as Communications Officer for her Rensselaer Alumni Chapter, received the 2015 Director’s Award, and is a Master Trainer for Girl Scouts.


Margaret Lawson, Human Services Assistant Instructor – Margaret collaboratively developed the Human Services Assistant curriculum with other ICD staff members to ensure that the program aligns with hiring needs of employers.  Margaret supports the ICD team in special projects, too, such as developing ICD's Work Readiness program for juniors and seniors in high school.

Prior to ICD, Margaret conducted a number of work readiness workshops for matriculating students in CUNY (BMCC, Baruch, and CUNY Graduate Center).  Margaret received a BS in Business Communication from the CUNY Baccalaureate Program (Baruch College), and a MS in Higher Education Administration from Bay Path University.  Margaret volunteers at New York Cares to help high school students prepare for college.