Connecting All Floridians with Meaningful Employment: the Family Café and CareerSource Florida to Promote Employment for People with Disabilities at The 18th Annual Family Café

June 10, 2016

Hundreds of thousands of Floridians with disabilities are ready, willing and able to be valuable contributors to the workforce, yet statistics show just 30 percent of those who are of working age are employed. For a fourth consecutive year, The Annual Family Café is partnering with the CareerSource Florida network, which includes the state Department of Economic Opportunity, to provide a comprehensive Employment Expo June 10during The Annual Governor’s Summit on Disabilities.

Governor Rick Scott said, “I am honored to attend the Annual Family Café today and recognize some of the hundreds of incredible Floridians with unique abilities and the hardworking individuals who help advocate for them. We want all Floridians to have the opportunity to live independent, healthy lives, and that is why we have made important, life-changing investments in the Agency for Persons with Disabilities. For the third year in a row, The Florida First Budget completely eliminated the critical needs wait list at APD, and we will remain committed to doing all we can to support every Floridian in our state.”

“Meaningful work is an essential part of life for everyone, and Floridians with disabilities deserve to enjoy the social and economic benefits of participating in the workforce the same way other citizens do,” said Family Café President and CEO Lori Fahey. “We’re really pleased to have partnered with CareerSource Florida to help people take that next step toward independence and inclusion by finding meaningful employment.”

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

“Our state’s workforce and economic development partners are working hard to position Florida as a global leader for talent, and that means ensuring businesses have access to a diverse and inclusive talent pool,” said Britt Sikes, chairman of the CareerSource Florida Board of Directors. “We are grateful to Governor Scott for his leadership, and we are honored to help connect Floridians with disabilities to opportunities to embark on a rewarding career.”

The Family Café has been connecting Floridians with disabilities and their families with information, training and networking opportunities since 1998. Its signature event, The 18th Annual Family Café, includes dozens of breakout sessions, a series of engaging keynote presentations and an exhibit hall that showcases dozens of vendors.

Cissy Proctor, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, said, “The 18th Annual Family Café fosters critical connections between individuals with unique abilities and their future Florida employers. I am proud to work with The Family Café and businesses across the state to help all Florida job seekers use their skills to find meaningful employment, enabling them to live a full, independent life.”

The 18th Annual Family Café Employment Expo will put attendees in contact with a number of businesses and agencies that provide employment resources, advice on job-seeking skills and information about available positions. In addition to the CareerSource Florida network, participants include ABLE United, Cinq Recruitment, Lockheed Martin, Mary Kay Cosmetics, NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Walgreens, Walt Disney World and WellCare Health Plans.

“This event, this program, and our efforts every day are gaining success largely due to the strong partnerships we continue to foster between business, community, and civic activists. The 18th Annual Family Café is an excellent model of local and state resources coming together to assist and showcase our local talent and demonstrate the intrinsic value people with disabilities bring to the workforce,” said CareerSource Central Florida president/CEO Pamela Nabors. “By working together, we are better equipped to help those in need of assistance in finding sustainable employment in Florida.”

The 18th Annual Family Café will host more than 7,000 registered attendees. For additional details, visit

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