Best Buddies announces the launch of the Jobs program in Central Florida

ORLANDO – December 6, 2016 – Best Buddies is thrilled to announce the launch of the Jobs program in Central Florida that will support individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) become employed. Through the generous support of the Dr. Phillips Charities, Best Buddies will begin working with individuals referred through Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) that are in search of employment. Best Buddies will hire a full time staff member that will work to assess skills, build resumes, develop interview skills, travel train the participant to and from work, assist in the application and interview process and also support the employer and participant once hired. The Best Buddies model of supported employment differs from other organizations, in that it provides ongoing support to the individual and business for the lifetime of their employment needs.

“Our board chose to support Best Buddies Jobs expansion program in Central Florida because the program places focus beyond the typical jobs in which a person with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) might be placed,”  Ken Robinson, President, Dr. Phillips Charities.  “An opportunity to earn an income, pay taxes, and continuously and independently support themselves is critical to one’s dignity and adds value to society. Best Buddies matches skilled and capable individuals with IDD to businesses seeking fervent and committed employees.”  

“The grant from Dr. Phillips Charities will allow us to provide an incredible service to this underserved population that desperately wants to be included and seen for their abilities, not their disabilities,” said Cary Ombres, Director of Jobs for Best Buddies Florida. “Dr. Phillips Charities has the motto of “helping others help themselves” and that is exactly what this program does for individuals with IDD.”

Best Buddies focuses on partnering with businesses throughout the community that understand the benefit of diversifying their workforce and also see the advantage of hiring motivated employees that are often a forgotten population.   

About Dr. Phillips Charities

The Dr. Phillips name has been a major economic and philanthropic presence in the Central Florida community since the turn of the 20th century. To honor the legacy of the Phillips family and its support of organizations that live up to the motto "to help others help themselves", Dr. Phillips Charities has invested more than $170 million in grants, pledges and program-related investments to worthy nonprofit organizations. 

About Best Buddies

Best Buddies is an international organization that provides opportunities for one-to-one friendship, integrated employment and leadership development for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Best Buddies Jobs program focuses on providing supported employment for individuals with IDD by matching their skills to business needs in the community. Individuals with IDD have an 84% unemployment rate and many of them have talents and abilities that would benefit and compliment a business’s staffing need. More information about Best Buddies can be found at or by calling our office at 407-898-0787.

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