Orange County Salutes Central Florida Disability Chamber of Commerce’s Veterans Business Initiative Program


Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs recently joined the Central Florida Disability Chamber of Commerce for its annual Veterans Business Initiative, which provides Veterans and their spouses entrepreneurship advice, employment and continuing education opportunities.

The Veterans Business Initiative program is hosted annually by CareerSource Central Florida, the Central Florida Disability Chamber of Commerce and National Entrepreneur Center.

Mayor Jacobs provided welcome remarks at the event, expressed her gratitude for their service and also shared the countless benefits of hiring Veterans in the workforce. During the event, Mayor Jacobs presented a proclamation declaring March 23, 2016, as Veterans Business Initiative Day in Orange County.

“Our Veterans are disciplined, productive, and extremely well-trained,” Mayor Jacobs said. “They are also fiercely loyal and they have a phenomenal work ethic. Excellence, leadership and duty to country is the fabric of their lives.”

Rogue Gallart, president of the Central Florida Disability Chamber of Commerce, spoke on the importance of the program.

“By creating the Veterans Business Initiative program, we are embracing our Veterans at home and our returning heroes by taking every step necessary to ensure that they have the skills and technical knowledge needed for today’s global workforce,” Gallart said. “Long-term, stable and fulfilling employment should be readily available for all Veterans returning to the workforce.”

Charles Kearse, a graduate of the program, shared his sentiments on the value of the Veterans Business Initiative and how it helps Veterans in the region.

“I think the leadership values that Veterans have are often times not spotlighted in our community, therefore this initiative allows us to shine a light on the excellent leaders that are coming out of the military,” Kearse said.

The Veterans Business Initiative has proven to be a large success in Orange County, with more than 150 veterans participating in the program and a nearly 50 percent success rate in career placement. The Veterans Business Initiative is the first of its kind in Central Florida and occurs in the fall and spring, for 10-week sessions. Information on the fall session is available here.

Orange County continuously supports local veterans through Mayor Jacobs’ Veterans Advisory Council, which is comprised of 34 veterans, and community leaders who work to provide recommendations and services that enhance the quality of life for local veterans and their families.

Orange County’s Veterans Services Office also provides support for veterans, dependents and survivors to ensure they receive all the benefits they have earned, including medical care, vocational training, compensation for service-related injury and illness, referrals and financial assistance.

Mayor Jacobs and the Mayor’s Veterans Advisory Council invite citizens to the War Memorial Wreath Presentation & Commemoration Ceremony at 10 a.m. on Monday, May 30, 2016. Held annually at the Orange County Courthouse, the ceremony honors the nation’s fallen Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen and will feature retired Army Lieutenant General Jack Stultz as the keynote speaker.

Photos from the Veterans Business Initiative may be found on Mayor Jacobs’ Flickr album.

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