RESPECT of Florida — a statewide program that assists participating nonprofit organizations — recognized Goodwill Industries of the Big Bend (Tallahassee, FL) as Florida’s best nonprofit providing service-related employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
RESPECT of Florida has a shared goal with Goodwill®: working to find employment for people with disabilities. It also helps certified employment centers throughout the state provide their products and services to government entities. Each year the organization presents awards to deserving nonprofit employment services, employees with disabilities, and public and private partners that are making a positive impact on the lives of Floridians with disabilities.
The October 2 announcement coincided with the start of National Disability Employment Awareness Month. The Tallahassee Goodwill and RESPECT have established a partnership through which they maintain seven contracts that train and employ people with disabilities in the area. These programs provide these services to employ and train people in a variety of jobs, including litter cleanup, mowing lawns and airport janitorial services.
“Every success we achieve is thanks to our incredible team of employees. It is because of their commitment and hard work that Goodwill thrives,” said Fred Shelfer, CEO of Goodwill Industries -Big Bend. “Receiving this honor during National Disability Employment Awareness Month is particularly special because it underscores our important mission to provide job training, education and employment to people with disabilities and other barriers to employment.”
Eighty percent of the contract services non-managerial staff has a disability. RESPECT of Florida has honored some of these employees in the past. Last year, the Florida Rookie of the Year and Outstanding Employee of the Year accolades were given to Goodwill employees working on the janitorial contract at Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport in Panama City, FL.