Governor’s Commission on Jobs for Floridians with Disabilities meeting at USFSP

The Governor’s Commission on Jobs for Floridians with Disabilities meets at the University Student Center Friday, thanks largely to the efforts of Jordan Knab, Ed.S., director of  K-16 Educational Initiatives in the College of Education.

Gov. Rick Scott appointed Knab to the 13-member commission in 2011 because of his experience in working with transition age youth with disabilities who are preparing to enter the workforce.

The commission holds quarterly hearings around the state and Knab recommended USF St. Petersburg as a location for its Tampa Bay meeting, the first of 2013. Interim Regional Chancellor Bill Hogarth will welcome the commission at the start of its meeting Friday, which will include a discussion with local employers about their experiences hiring persons with disabilities. The meeting is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Knab manages several state grants and one federal grant at USFSP, with annual funding of over $2 million. He worked with the prior Governor’s Commission on Disabilities and the Florida Department of Education to begin a pilot program, STING RAY, at USFSP. The program enables area youth with intellectual disabilities to have a post-secondary educational experience with their peers, in preparation for long-term, sustainable employment. The STING RAY program was the catalyst for a federal grant that supports the expansion of these programs throughout the state.

USFSP was chosen as a site to host the first quarterly meeting of 2013 to showcase the university campus and its extensive research and development in the area of youth with disabilities and employment. Students enrolled in the STING RAY program will meet and greet the commissioners anddescribe their experiences at USFSP.

“I’m pleased the commission chose USF St. Petersburg for its first quarterly meeting of the year,” Knab said. “A lot of great things are happening at USFSP and having this meeting here will help spread the word.”