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The Florida Statutes

The 2018 Florida Statutes

Title XXX
SOCIAL WELFARE
Chapter 413
EMPLOYMENT AND RELATED SERVICES FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
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F.S. 413.80
413.80 Employment First Act.
(1) SHORT TITLE.This section may be cited as the “Employment First Act.”
(2) LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS AND INTENT.The Legislature finds that employment is the most direct and cost-effective means to assist an individual in achieving independence and fulfillment; however, individuals with disabilities are confronted by unique barriers to employment which inhibit their opportunities to compete fairly in the labor force. It is the intent of the Legislature to provide a framework for a long-term commitment to improving employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities in this state through the implementation of this act.
(3) PURPOSE.The purpose of this act is to prioritize employment of individuals with disabilities and to change the employment system to better integrate individuals with disabilities into the workforce. This act encourages a collaborative effort between state agencies and organizations to achieve better employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities.
(4) INTERAGENCY COOPERATIVE AGREEMENT.The following state agencies and organizations, and others, as appropriate, shall develop an interagency cooperative agreement to implement this act:
(a) The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation of the Department of Education.
(b) The Division of Blind Services of the Department of Education.
(c) The Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services of the Department of Education.
(d) The Agency for Persons with Disabilities.
(e) The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Program Office of the Department of Children and Families.
(f) The Department of Economic Opportunity.
(g) CareerSource Florida, Inc.
(h) The Florida Developmental Disabilities Council.
(i) The Florida Association of Rehabilitation Facilities.
(j) Other appropriate organizations.
(5) ROLES, RESPONSIBILITIES, AND OBJECTIVES.The interagency cooperative agreement must identify the roles and responsibilities of the state agencies and organizations identified in subsection (4) and the objectives of the interagency cooperative agreement, which must include all of the following:
(a) Establishing a commitment by leadership of the state agencies and organizations to maximize resources and coordination to improve employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities who seek publicly funded services.
(b) Developing strategic goals and benchmarks to assist the state agencies and organizations in the implementation of this agreement.
(c) Identifying financing and contracting methods that will help to prioritize employment for individuals with disabilities by state agencies and organizations.
(d) Establishing training methods to better integrate individuals with disabilities into the workforce.
(e) Ensuring collaborative efforts between multiple agencies to achieve the purposes of this act.
(f) Promoting service innovations to better assist individuals with disabilities in the workplace.
(g) Identifying accountability measures to ensure the sustainability of this agreement.
History.s. 7, ch. 2016-3.