Gov. Scott Honors Businesses Hiring Individuals With Disabilities

By: Lanetra Bennett
October 9, 2013

Tallahassee, FL - Florida Governor Rick Scott honored employers who are committed to hiring individuals with disabilities.

Governor Scott recognized seven Florida businesses Wednesday morning.

The 8th annual Exceptional Employers Awards was held at Tallahassee City Hall. It's in celebration of Disability Employment Awareness Month...

Advocates say the businesses give individuals with disabilities an opportunity that they may not otherwise get, such as Elizabeth Haines who's worked at Applebee's since 2002.

Haines says, "I'm very grateful I work there. I also was Employee of the month and I'm very proud to work there, especially with my bosses that I have."

The governor's Families First budget invested $500,000 to provide job training skills for individuals with disabilities.

The businesses that were honored Wednesday, are:
Beck's Automotive Group of Palatka
Express Employment Professionals of Pensacola
McDonald's Restaurants
Sykes Enterprises, Inc. of Lakeland
TJX Companies
Wendy's Restaurants (JAA Restaurant Holdings, LLC) of Boca Raton
Winn Dixie/BILo Corporation

Press Release

State to Honor Businesses as Exceptional Employers

TALLAHASSEE, FL-The state of Florida is recognizing seven businesses on Wednesday, October 9, for being outstanding employers of people with disabilities.

The annual celebration will be held at the Tallahassee City Commission Chambers, 300 South Adams Street, as part of recognizing October as Disability Employment Awareness Month. An informational expo begins at 8:30 a.m., with the awards ceremony starting at 9:30 a.m.

Agency for Persons with Disabilities, Blind Services, and Vocational Rehabilitation will present the Exceptional Employer Awards to honor businesses from all over the state for their commitment to hiring people with disabilities.

Leon County Supervisor of Elections employee Renee Llewellyn, who has a disability, will speak at the event about what having a job means to her.

APD Director Barbara Palmer said, "I am looking forward to recognizing these Florida companies who give people with disabilities an opportunity to prove themselves. Business leaders confirm what we have known for years that individuals with disabilities are great employees and provide a return on their investment. These employees are dedicated to their companies. They do not miss work because their job means so much to them."
Event sponsors are The Able Trust, City of Tallahassee, and RESPECT of Florida.


APD supports people with developmental disabilities to live, learn, and work in their communities. The agency annually serves more than 50,000 Floridians with autism, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, intellectual disabilities, Down syndrome, and Prader-Willi syndrome. For more information about the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, visit or call toll-free 1-866-APD-CARES (1-866-273-2273).

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