Oct 1, 2010

State to Honor Companies that Hire People with Disabilities

Florida will recognize seven companies from

around the state tomorrow, October 1, in Tallahassee, for

demonstrating an outstanding commitment to the employment of people

with disabilities. The celebration at Tallahassee City Commission

Chambers, 300 South Adams Street, will also kick off October’s

Disability Employment Awareness Month. The public is invited to view

informational displays beginning at 8:30 a.m. The employer awards

program will start at 9:30 a.m.

The winners are companies from Miami, Jacksonville, Clearwater,

Panama City, Ocala, Tallahassee, and a national company with multiple

Florida locations. Those local stores are in Pensacola, Melbourne,

Jacksonville, Tampa, Fort Walton Beach, and Milton.

Governor Charlie Crist said, "State agencies proudly lead the

way as employers of Floridians with disabilities, offering

opportunities for success, independence and respect. Persons with

disabilities have expertise and talent that often goes unused and

untapped, and all of Florida businesses and employers will do well in

expanding opportunities for this important group of Floridians.”

The Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD), Blind Services,

and Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) are hosting the recognition event.

October is Disability Employment Awareness Month, and the state is

highlighting the contributions of people with disabilities to the work


The businesses will receive the Florida Exceptional Employer

Award. The Florida Exceptional Employer Award recognizes both the

commitment of these businesses to hiring and retaining people with

disabilities and also their initiative in creating unique employment


APD Director Jim DeBeaugrine said, "Return on investment is what

businesses are focused on, and investing in people with disabilities

is one of the best investments they can make. Employers repeatedly

tell me that individuals with disabilities are among the most reliable

workers they have in their work force. So taking the step to hire

someone with a disability is a smart investment of a company’s