Florida Agency for Persons with Disabilities

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Disability Employment Awareness Month Wrap Up

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APD ran a series of stories in our local paper, the Tallahassee Democrat, highlighting our clients who are successfully employed.  We had so many Success Stories publish we didn’t have time to blog about them all before October ended!  We only have three more stories that were published so I’ll go ahead and post them today.  Enjoy!

Higgins an integral part of his workplace team
By Melanie Mowry Etters, Special to the Democrat

Moran Environmental, Bobby Higgins

JACKSONVILLE — Bobby Higgins is truly dedicated to his maintenance and custodial job at Moran Environmental Recovery in Atlantic Beach.

Higgins, 52, loves his job, which he has had for more than a year. “I am doing a good job. They like me. I keep it nice and clean, and it smells good,” he said.

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Florida’s Agency for Persons with Disabilities is highlighting the contributions of people with disabilities to the workforce. Higgins has a developmental disability and receives services funded by APD.

He drives himself to work around 5 a.m. to get an early start on his responsibilities of cleaning, dusting, mopping, vacuuming and a variety of other duties. He fills a cooler with water bottles and ice for the work crews that are going out to work on environmental cleanup projects.

“Bobby quickly became part of the MER family. He happily adjusted his schedule to make sure certain tasks are done early and don’t disturb us during regular working hours. He is always on time, diligent, hard-working and very thorough in all his assignments. He lets us know when we have to make repairs or order supplies. And Bobby is always polite, professional and just a pleasure to be around,” said Leslie Detlefsen, the firm’s manager of business development.

An additional benefit for Higgins’ conscientious work ethic has been his shrinking waistline. “Bobby has dropped 40 pounds since he started working here,” Detlefsen said. “He always tells me when I need to order a new uniform for him. I know he is proud of that.”

Higgins lives with his sister and her husband in Jacksonville Beach. His passion outside of work is professional football. The tag on the front of his blue Dodge Dakota truck has a football on it along with “Bobby.” Higgins likes the Jacksonville Jaguars, however, he loves the Pittsburgh Steelers because he was born in Pennsylvania and lived there until 10 years ago.

Higgins has worked at other companies in the past. He hopes his future professional career remains at Moran. “I get along well with everybody,” Higgins said. “They told me that I am part of the team. I want to stay at Moran and continue to work there.”

APD supports people with developmental disabilities to live, learn, and work in their communities. The agency annually serves more than 50,000 Floridians with autism, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, intellectual disabilities and Down syndrome. For more about the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, visit APDcares.org or call toll-free 1-866-273-2273.

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