ORLANDO, Fla. – For a fifth consecutive year, CareerSource Florida is partnering with The Family Café, a Florida nonprofit organization, to help connect employers and job seekers with disabilities through an Employment Expo at The Annual Family Café in Orlando, which began at 10 a.m. today, June 16.

The Annual Family Café is a statewide cross-disability event that brings together information and resources for people with disabilities and their families. Hundreds of thousands of Floridians with disabilities are ready, willing and able to be valuable contributors to the workforce, yet statistics show just 31 percent of those who are of working age are employed. This annual event provides a venue for The Annual Governor’s Summit on Disabilities, where Governor Rick Scott shares his vision for the state’s citizens with disabilities, and promotes their ability to participate in the workforce.

Governor Scott said, “I am proud of the work that the Family Café is doing to help those with unique abilities enter the workforce so they can live full, happy lives. The legislation I signed into law yesterday to boost funding for the Gardiner Scholarship for students with unique abilities, along with all-time high K-13 per-pupil spending, will allow every student in Florida to get a great education. We will continue working so that every Floridian has the opportunity to achieve their dreams in our state.”

“People with disabilities are fully capable of being employed, and deserve the chance to enjoy the benefits of having meaningful work,” said Family Café President and CEO Lori Fahey. “We are grateful to Governor Scott for his ongoing support, and we are pleased to once again have our partners from CareerSource Florida and the Department of Economic Opportunity to help promote disability employment at The Annual Family Café this year.”

Workforce professionals from the statewide CareerSource Florida network will be on hand today at the Employment Expo to help facilitate a relationship between individuals with disabilities and potential employers.

“CareerSource Florida is dedicated to increasing the prosperity of all workers as well as employers, and assisting Floridians with disabilities in achieving their career goals,” said CareerSource Florida President and CEO Michelle Dennard. “We value our partnership with The Family Café and sincerely appreciate Governor Scott’s focus on this important mission.”

The Family Café has been connecting Floridians with disabilities and their families with information, training and networking opportunities since 1998. Its signature event, The 19th Annual Family Café, includes dozens of breakout sessions, a series of engaging keynote presentations and an exhibit hall that showcases dozens of vendors.

“Floridians with unique abilities are a critical part of our state’s talented and trained workforce, which is why DEO is committed to working with employers across the state as part of our Florida Unique Abilities Partnership,” said Cissy Proctor, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. “We’re proud to help The Family Café link job seekers with employers who value their special skills.”

The 19th Annual Family Café’s Employment Expo will introduce attendees to the many services career centers can offer them as they navigate their way through the employment process, such as advice on job-seeking skills and information about available positions.

“CareerSource Central Florida is proud to continue its productive partnership as a Unique Abilities agency, along with CareerSource Florida, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, and The Family Café, to partner in this annual event in support of our uniquely-abled community and their families,” said CareerSource Central Florida President and CEO Pamela Nabors. “This valuable collaboration goes beyond just providing tools and resources to create relationships and opportunities, and ultimately to change lives.”

In addition to the CareerSource Florida network, employer participants include Wells Fargo Bank, Walgreens and WellCare Health Plans.

The 19th Annual Family Café, which takes place at The Hyatt Regency in Orlando June 16 – 18, will host more than 10,000 registered attendees. For additional details, visit www.FamilyCafe.net.

To learn more about employment and training services available to businesses and job seekers, and to connect with your local CareerSource Florida team, visit careersourceflorida.com.

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About CareerSource Florida

CareerSource Florida is the statewide workforce policy and investment board of business and government leaders charged with guiding workforce development for the state of Florida. CareerSource Florida provides oversight and policy direction for talent development programs administered by the Department of Economic Opportunity, Florida’s 24 local workforce development boards and their 100 career centers. Together, the CareerSource Florida network connects employers with qualified, skilled talent and Floridians with employment and career development opportunities to achieve economic prosperity. Learn more at careersourceflorida.com or 1-866-352-2345.

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