Winter Haven business recognized for hiring disabled workers

By Fred Elmhorst, Reporter
Last Updated: Tuesday, November 08, 2016, 9:16 PM EST

A Winter Haven business is celebrating an award from the state for hiring disabled workers. Florida’s Vocational Rehabilitation program recognized the new Steak'n Shake on Cypress Gardens Blvd. for hiring four disabled workers.

  • Winter Haven Steak'n Shake recognized for hiring disabled workers 
  • Steak'n Shake owner, Sal Virzi, believes hiring people with disabilities is worth it 
  • The restaurant has hired four disabled workers

One of the workers is Adam Urbina. He has an intellectual disability. Urbina broke down in tears when owner Sal Virzi told him he was hired last year. “I was like, very good,” said Urbina. 

Urbina has done such a good job Virzi has promoted him to head dishwasher and given him a raise. "Most people don't want to come to work and be happy. He comes to work and he's always smiling,” said Virzi.

Virzi said it can take some extra training in the beginning, but his disabled workers are worth it. "Do they call me, need more attention? Yes. But it's something that makes me feel good,” he said.

Virzi said he tries to hire workers with mental or physical disabilities at several other restaurants he owns in the Winter Haven area.