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Employer Spotlights

Disability Employment Awareness Month

VR is honored to recognize employers who are leading the way in building an inclusive workforce and looking beyond the disability. Without the support of outstanding employers, we would not have been able to assist nearly six thousand individuals each year to successfully obtain or maintain employment. The businesses honored definitely understand the benefits of a loyal, productive workforce, and are leaders in the important effort to incorporate more people with disabilities in the employee pool. Since 1945, President Harry S. Truman approved a Congressional resolution declaring the first week in October “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.” In 1962, the word “physically” is removed to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities.

Since 2005, VR has partnered with other agencies. VR partners with Agency for Person with Disabilities (ADP) and Division of Blind Services (DBS) for the statewide events. The Able Trust sponsors area events.

Governor Jeb Bush signed the first proclamation that celebrate the contributions of the 2.5 million Floridians with disabilities in October as Disability Employment Awareness Month. The first event was held in Tallahassee that included the APD, DBS, Ability First, Big Bend Leadership Network, Tallahassee and Florida Chambers of Commerce, Big Bend Workforce Center-Workforce Plus, City of Tallahassee Equal Employment Opportunity Office and the Able Trust. In 2005-2006, VR assisted 10,796 Floridians with disabilities to achieve their employment goal and the program had a 60.4 percent successful rehabilitation rate which was an all-time record for the program. Other accomplishments were:

  • Bureau of Reemployment and Rehabilitation Services helped 1,486 injured workers return to jobs
  • Blind Services helped 655 people become gainfully employed, and
  • VR assisted 2,855 blind and visually-impaired people in obtaining competitive employment.

Award-winning businesses through the years:


Stenner Pump, Jacksonville
Rise & Nye’s, Sarasota
Hilton Garden Inn, Fort Walton Beach
Kohl’s, Tallahassee
City of Cape Coral
Winslow Life Raft Company, Lake Suzy
Lighthouse Works, Inc., Orlando
Beck Automotive Group, Palatka
Pitney Bowes Inc., Jacksonville
Clearwater Marine Aquarium
Pinecrest Bakery, Miami


Advance Auto Parts Distribution Center, Lakeland
Aramark, USF Dinning Location
Aerojet Rocketdyne, Inc
Challenge Enterprises
Escambia County
Good Samaritan Hospital
Hilton Singer Island
Idolls Botique
Jet's Pizza, North Port


Blackstone Medical Services
Cleveland Clinic Martin Health
Home Builders and Contractors Association of Brevard
Lake City Medical Center
Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort and Spa
Princeton Village of Palm Coast
TJ Maxx Tyrone
WaWa, Inc.
Winslow Life Raft, Division of Collins Aerospace
Your TEK Professional


Area 4
Amplify Clearwater
Flagship Facility Services, Inc.
H2 Insight
Home Depot
Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital
Sea Breeze Adult Day Center
Stream Recycling
Tampa Bay Times

Area 6
Double Tree by Hilton
Freezetone Products
Home Goods
Learning Playhouse Academy
People Dedicated to Quality
Somerset Academy, Silver Palms

Accuform Manufacturing
Aramark Dining Services at Jacksonville
Army and Air Force Exchange Service
Bob’s Space Racers
Chartwells at the University of Miami
Cleveland Clinic Martin Health
The Home Depot
Florida Department of Revenue
Golden Corral
The Chocolate Spectrum
Wawa, Inc.
ZVRS, Clearwater


Area 4
AMC 20 Movie Theater
Bay Care Health System
Culver’s, Zephyrhills
The Hampton at Clearwater
K&K Glass
NASCO Aerospace and Electronics
Wawa, Inc.

Area 6
Red Lobster
Vezina, Lawrence & Piscitelli, PA

Edibles by Ethel, Tampa
Firehouse Subs
Florida Department of Law Enforcement
Hilton Ocala
Lucky’s Market
Paisley Cafe, Tallahassee
Rising Tide Car Wash, Parkland and Margate
SolarTech Universal, Riviera Beach
The Village, Gainesville
Treasure Bay Resort & Marina, Treasure Island
Vinny & Bay’s Coffee and Eatery, Panama City
World Golf Village Renaissance St. Augustine Resort