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As we celebrated Disability Employment Awareness Month in October, we had the opportunity to partner with stakeholders around Florida including career service providers, businesses, local municipalities, and education leaders. October provided a great opportunity to develop new partnerships that are vital to raising awareness about the importance of employing Floridians with disabilities.

As we continue to work with employers who are making efforts to ensure their hiring strategies include job seekers with disabilities, we are excited about our first training session with the Small Business Development Council Network (SBDC) consultants.

In conjunction with a training session for Jacksonville-area career service providers, the training for SBDC consultants was led by Bill Santos of Employment Management Professionals Oakville. Santos walked the consultants through a course designed to help businesses identify the true needs for their positions, and how to convey those open job needs to career service providers.

The training session not only helped SBDC consultants gain a better understanding of how to work with small businesses who are interested in hiring persons with disabilities, it also provided 'speed-dating' like introductions. The participating career service providers met with the SBDC consultants to kick start the relationship building process and begin to identify job candidates from this underutilized talent pool.

If your company is interested in learning more about this training, please feel free to reach out to me at

Thank you to all our partners for your continued support and I look forward to strengthening our relationships as we work to expand disability employment and strengthen Florida's workforce.

Allison Chase

President & CEO

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Where does an employer start when they want their job candidate recruitment efforts to include job seekers with disabilities? There are a number of steps businesses can consider to become more familiar with the benefits of hiring a person with a disability. Beyond these early efforts, it's also important to develop a relationship with employment service providers in your area.

According to Florida's Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR), an employment service provider is a not-for-profit organization that has been approved to help VR customers get or keep a job. Employment service providers are located throughout Florida and they work to help connect employers who are looking for qualified job seekers with disabilities with the job seekers who are looking for employment.

The relationship that is developed between the employer and service provider is crucial to successful placements. As the service provider learns about the employer's needs - including everything from skills requirements to physical location and company culture - they can assess which job candidate has the skills and experience to best meet their needs.

One great example of this type of partnership is between VyStar Credit Union in Jacksonville and The Arc Jacksonville. Watch this webinar recorded on October 5th, to hear Brian Wolfburg, President and CEO of VyStar Credit Union discuss how his team is partnering with The Arc Jacksonville to employ people with disabilities.

And when you're ready to make a connection, let us know. Our mission is to expand disability employment in Florida and we are here to work with employers to help with this process. We are available to talk to your board, leadership team or HR staff to answer questions and help make these connections.

Click here to let us know how we can help.



Thank you to everyone who participated in our #cupofambition campaign in support of Disability Employment Awareness Month! We had a great response to this effort to spread the word on the importance of disability employment and we appreciate your participation.




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


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We welcome the opportunity to share information about disability employment. Invite us to speak at your upcoming board meeting, conference or webinar.

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