April 2023

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CareerSource Florida Corner:

Summer Youth Programs

Summer is just around the corner – did you know that the CareerSource Florida network provides summer youth programs? More than just summer jobs, these programs are true learning experiences, with lessons about how to obtain a job, how to keep a job and how to become a workforce professional. This dynamic program is designed to prepare youth for the future workforce.

The program strives to provide youth with positions from different industries that are also related to career choices of interest – they work in clerical, assistant, or aide roles with government agencies, libraries, community organizations, for-profits, nonprofits and more.


Take the first step this summer and meet with a member of your local workforce development board by going to CareerSourceFlorida.com and clicking on Find Your Local Team.

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Follow Along as we Explore

Collaboration Between Providers

In the first part of a series of real-time articles, Leanne Rexford, The Able Trust's Director of Partner Relations, documents the initial stages of a major Southwest Florida hotel's innovative approach to solving their staffing shortage. Learn how the hotel's recruiting manager took the initiative to try something new, laid the groundwork for the best possibility of success, and engaged traditionally competitive service providers in mutually beneficial collaboration.

Read More

Conferences and Professional

Development: What's Next for You?

Opportunities for growth don't stop just because we reach career goals and milestones. We would love to hear about any upcoming conferences and professional development programs you and your organization have on your calendars. This information will help us to be a better resource for you. Click below to access a brief web form where you can let us know how you're working on becoming a more well-rounded professional.

Get In Touch

Make the Most of Your Opportunities to Deepen Connections

We all have those periods when professional travel seems to take up more time than usual--for presentations, conferences, meetings, you name it. Each of those journeys presents great opportunities to foster new and stronger connections with partners who have similar goals of making Florida the most disability-inclusive state in the country for workers.

The VISIONS Conference last week in Jacksonville was an excellent example. We loved seeing so many of our partners from around Florida, as well as making new contacts and sharing our mission with all the terrific organizations in attendance.

Next week, our team heads to Tampa for the Talent Strong Florida Summit, hosted by the Florida College Access Network. I am confident this will provide more great insight into what others around the state are doing to support students with disabilities as they transition from K-12 to postsecondary education.

Let us know what opportunities you're exploring for professional development this year. In this newsletter, you'll find a link to a web form where you can tell us about your upcoming seminars, conferences, workshops and more.

We look forward to more chances to collaborate with you!

Joey D'Souza

Vice President, External Engagement

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What We're Reading

Florida Leads the Way in Self-Employment

Chamber of Commerce.org, a digital resource for small business owners, recently released an article using United States Census Bureau data to calculate the proportion of self-employed individuals to the overall labor force in 170 U.S. cities. Four South Florida cities came out at the top of the list as having the highest citywide percentages of self-employed workers, with two more in the top ten--all well above the nationwide average of 10.1% of a given city's workforce.

Considering persons with disabilities are about twice as likely as the general population to be self-employed, these numbers underscore the importance both of providing resources and training for prospective workers with disabilities, and of creating and nurturing strong connections between jobseekers and employers all over our state. Tap the button below to read the analysis, including further interpretations of the data.

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Highlights from the 2023 Project Venture Finals

Entrepreneurship and self-employment is a viable path to economic self-sufficiency for persons with disabilities. The Able Trust supports entrepreneurial exploration through Project Venture. Check out the video highlights of the 2023 Project Venture final competition, featuring teams of tomorrow's entrepreneurs from Bay, Orange and Union Counties.

Watch Now

The Able Trust Activities

High School High Tech Recognized at VISIONS Conference

The Able Trust's Florida High School High Tech (HSHT) program received a great honor at the VISIONS Conference this past week in Jacksonville. HSHT was selected as a recipient of the 2023 Patrick Mulvihill Making a Difference Award, named for an individual who worked diligently throughout his career, and continues to do so in his retirement, to positively impact the lives of persons with disabilities.

Our HSHT State Director Coleen Agner accepted the Mulvihill Award granted by the Florida Division on Career Development and Transition at the conference. Leon County HSHT coordinator Christopher Carlberg was also honored for his work at the program's Ability 1st-based site in Tallahassee. We're thankful to work with Chris and all the dedicated HSHT coordinators all over Florida!

Click below to see what HSHT is all about.

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Your support ensures Floridians with disabilities have opportunities to gain meaningful employment.


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Forward this newsletter to other colleagues, and business and community leaders who are interested in disability employment.


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The Able Trust, also known as the Florida Endowment Foundation for Vocational Rehabilitation, is a 501(c)(3) public charity established by the Florida Legislature in 1990 as a direct support organization for the 

Florida Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. Its mission is to be a key leader in providing

Floridians with disabilities opportunities for successful employment.

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