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Program Manual

13.0 - Bureau of Business Enterprise (Referral, Training and Placement Phases)

The following offers a progressive overview of the referral process and training components that an interested blind person would follow to reach licensure by the Bureau of Business Enterprise (BBE). All BBE training is coordinated through the BBE State Office Administrative Consultant at 850-245-9406. The ‘actual’ program under BBE may be referred to as the Business Enterprise Program (BEP).  When referring to the program the term BEP may be used, while when referring to the actual Bureau, BBE may be referred too. The terms are interchangeable.

BBE at a Glance:

All forms cited in this document are on the “O” drive in the Folder BBE.

Step 1 – Client expresses interest in the BBE program and meets with DBS VR counselor.

Step 2 – Client completes a Vocational Evaluation.

Step 3 – Counselor reviews results of Vocational Evaluation as well as results from any other pertinent training received by the client within the last calendar year to determine if client meets minimum qualifications.  Counselor may recommend further assessments, and training as needed.

Step 4 – If client meets minimum qualifications, counselor schedules meeting for client with Regional BBE Business Consultant. (refer to 13.3)

Step 5 – Client completes and submits application with all necessary paperwork to VR counselor who forwards to State Office.

Step 6 – Applicant completes and passes background screening.

Step 7 – Applicant completes the Assessment Interview and receives recommendation from interview panel (Interview – approx. 1 hour).

Step 8 – Applicant successfully completes Work Experience (10 days).

Step 9 – Administrative Services Consultant schedules applicant for next available training class.  

The BBE Program In-Depth (All forms and documents identified in this process are available on the “O” drive in the folder, “BBE”)

13.1 - Referral Phase

  1. DBS client expresses interest in the Business Enterprise Program.  The counselor should explain the types of facilities (vending, cafeterias and snack bar), the application requirements (See 9 steps At a Glance above) and timeline related to training).  The opportunities including potential income levels (starting is typically $20K-$30K; operators in the program for many years may make $40K -    $50K or more), should also be explained.  The counselor should be objective in explaining the program and balance the opportunity with the responsibility of the client for success. 
  2. The DBS counselor schedules the Vocational Evaluation. The client completes the evaluation and results are to be forwarded to counselor. If you have questions regarding eligible Vocational Evaluators in your area please contact appropriate state office staff.
  3. The counselor reviews the results of the evaluation as well as results of training assessment/evaluations conducted by the local CRP (assessments/evaluations performed more than one year may not be reliable).  Use the CRP’s reports, evaluations and staff comments to determine if the client would be appropriate for the program.  The counselor uses all documentation and information provided to complete the DBS-BBE Form #008 (Rev. 2-9-11) – Business Enterprise Pre-Applicant Skills Checklist.  This checklist is a guide to aid the counselor in making a determination as to whether or not the client is qualified to enter the BBE training program in view of licensure and eventually as a small business operator.
    • Is the individual motivated and have an entrepreneurial spirit?
    • Did the client demonstrate the appropriate academic functioning    levels, independent living skills, technology skills for being a BBE operator?
  4. If the counselor believes the client may have the potential to succeed in the program, but assessment results in all areas are unavailable or inconclusive, further assessments should be scheduled and conducted by the local CRP or thru the Daytona Rehabilitation Center.  Perhaps the client needs further training in some areas before being recommended for the program. 

Please forward all assessment results to BBE Administrative Services Consultant and the designated staff member in Daytona for review and feedback. Recommendations for additional training for the client may be indicated.  The final decision to recommend the client for the BBE program lies with the counselor.

13.2 - Schedule Meeting with Regional BBE Business Consultant  

If the counselor is satisfied that client meets the minimum qualifications, the counselor schedules a meeting with the Regional BBE Business Consultant.  The Business Consultant will explain the BBE program, including training, licensure, types of facilities, realistic timetable for advancement and potential income levels.

Following the meeting with the Business Consultant, if the client still desires to pursue the BBE program and the counselor believes the client is capable of succeeding in the BBE program, the client is given the green light to complete the application.

13.3 - Application Process

  1. The client applies by completing the DBS-Form #005-Business Enterprise Program Application and completed application to the VR counselor along with all the requires “proofs”.      
    1. Documentation of US Citizenship (birth certificate, passport or naturalization paperwork
    2. Current Florida ID
    3. Documentation of High School Diploma or Equivalency             
    4. Documentation of Legal Blindness   
    5. Clear copy of Social Security Card
    6. Physician’s Statement of Health   
  2. The VR counselor checks the packet to be sure that all required documents are included and sends the complete packet to the Administrative Services Consultant at the State Office in Tallahassee.  She will review the paperwork to ensure all required documentation is included and is in order.
    1. The applicant must now complete a level II background screening which includes fingerprinting.  DBS VR counselors will provide assistance and instruction with this process.  Applicants must complete:
      1. DBS-BBE Form #001 Consent to Screening and Security Background Investigation Revised 09-10
      2. DBS-BBE Form #002 Affidavit of Good Moral Character Revise 09-10     
      3. DBS-BBE Form #003 Notice of Client and Licensee Rights Revised 9-10
  3. DBS will pay for the background screening.  Screening will be scheduled with the client by the BBE Administrative Services Consultant (ASC).  The ASC will use the provider currently being used by the Division. Background screening results are automatically sent to Tallahassee.  The background screening will be reviewed to determine if there are any disqualifying offenses. 
    1. If the applicant does not have any disqualifying offenses as a result of the review of the background screening the ASC will contact the VR counselor to inform them that the applicant will be permitted to continue the application process.
    2. If the applicant has disqualifying violations, they will be sent a letter from the ASC informing them that they are not eligible for the program and a copy sent to the VR counselor.

13.4 - Assessment Interview

  1. The ASC will set up the Assessment Interview with the applicant.  The interview will take place via conference call and typically takes about one (1) hour.  Members of the interview panel include:
    1. BBE Regional Business Consultant
    2. Committee Chair and/or District Committee member representative
    3. BBE Bureau Chief and/or Operations Manager
    4. Members of the Training Subcommittee
  2. Applicants will be asked questions from a prepared list of questions.  The purpose of this interview is for the panel to determine from an applicant’s responses if the applicant is suited for and capable of functioning as a business manager.  It will also allow the panel to explain the program and to clear up any misunderstandings or recent changes in the program of which the applicant should be aware. The applicant will also be allowed to ask questions about the program, which will help them, determine if the BBE program is for them. As a result of the interview, the applicant may be denied entry in the program, may be recommended with caution, recommended, or highly recommended.  If there is a waiting list for training, those that are highly recommended will be placed at the top of the list regardless of when they applied.

13.5 - After Recommendation Made

  1. If the Interview Panel recommends the applicant for the BBE training program, the ASC will set up the next step of the assessment, a ten day Work Experience (WE) for the applicant with a local BBE program vendor.  The purpose of this exercise is to give the applicant on the job experience, which, first, will help them determine if this is the vocation they want to commit to and do for a living and second, provide an environment where an experienced operator can assess them.  The Work Experience operator will use:
    1. DBS-BBE Form #004 – Work Experience Assessment Report (Revised 10-14-10) and;
    2. The DBS-BBE Form #006 Work Experience Daily Check Sheet (Revised 1-24-11) to record date related to the applicants work practices and skills.

      This feedback will be used to counsel the applicant prior to and during the training if accepted.
  2. The Administrative Services Consultant will coordinate with applicant, Rehab Specialist and the selected operator to schedule work experience.  If a local operator is not available it may be necessary for the applicant to travel to another town.  
  3. The Administrative Services Consultant sets up the ten day WE which may consist of either ten days with one operator doing vending and food services, or two, 5 day work experiences; one with vending and one for food services (snack bar or cafeteria).
  4. The applicant will be informed as to the attendance and dress code requirements for training by the ASC.
  5. Applicants doing Work Experience will be paid $6.00 per hour and the operator conducting the WE will be paid $30.00 per day. Hotel accommodations and transportation will also be provided if needed.

After the applicant successfully completes the work experience the ASC schedules them for the next Daytona Training Class.

The Training Program includes the following two phases:

The Six training modules are as follows:

  1. Vending – 3 weeks
  2. Business Startup – 2 weeks
  3. Recordkeeping – 3 weeks
  4. Food Safety – 2 weeks
  5. Food Service – 3 weeks
  6. Business Management – 3 weeks

Trainees will receive Food Service Certification during the Food Safety module.  Client Services will pay any fees required.  A Final Review is and instruction on computer training is included with the training.

Trainees are provided $150 per month from client services for socialization.

On the Job Training (OJT) may take between 4-10 weeks to complete.  For someone entering the program with previous food service management or business management experience, it may be possible to successfully complete OJT in as little as four weeks.  Customarily, trainees should expect to spend a minimum of eight to ten weeks in OJT.

Trainees are provided lodging and transportation plus $500 per month stipend to be used for other expenses (food, etc.).

Operators conducting the OJT are paid by client services funds from the district the trainee is from      the amount of $800.00 for weeks 4-6 (prorated for anything less than 4 weeks) $75 for each approved additional week (weeks 7-10).

For payments to be made to a vendor, OJT trainers need to submit an invoice to the VR counselor with an invoice number, date, dates of training and hours of training.  The invoice must also state that it was   for training and the trainees name should be on it, as well as the amount to be paid.  The OJT trainer must also complete BBE Form #011-BBE OJT Progress Report on the trainee.  This form along with other relevant BBE forms and application steps are on the S drive/BBE folder.

Once applicant has successfully completed training they may proceed to the placement phase of the program.

13.6 - Placement Phase

  1. The newly licensed Client may apply at will for any vacant vending facility.  Facility announcements are advertised on January 15, May 15 and September 15 on the Bureau of Business Enterprise website along with detailed application instructions and information regarding the subsequent interview.

    Should the newly licensed Client secure an interview the Rehab Specialist may financially assist with travel arrangements.

  2. When a Client is offered an initial Licensed Operator Facility Agreement to operate a Business Enterprise Program location, the Rehab Specialist, with the assistance of the Regional Consultant, will assess the need for and underwrite the following:
    1. Incorporation Fees
    2. General Liability Insurance – (3 months)
    3. Worker’s Compensation Insurance – (3 months)
    4. Commercial Vehicle insurance for vending routes or interstate rest areas without storage – (3 months)
    5. Storage facility rental fee for the first month if a storage unit is deemed necessary for the operation of the facility
    6. State (DBPR), County and City License Fees
    7. Relocation Assistance for up to two (2) times for a client within a five (5) year period.
    8. Consultation/setup fees for accounting services.
    9. Adaptive equipment such as talking cash register, talking bill identifier, etc. if needed
    10. A computer with any necessary adaptive technologies, if needed.

13.7 - Frequently Asked Questions:

If a client has previously been licensed by Business Enterprise Program, does he or she require any re-training?

Perhaps.  It depends on how long the client has been uninvolved or inactive in the Business Enterprise Program.  If the licensed client has not held a Business Enterprise Program Licensed Operator Facility Agreement (LOFA) Type I or Type II within the past 5 years, he or she is required to go through the entire training process again.

If a client has previously been licensed by Business Enterprise Program, can portions of the training required, like On-the-Job training, be waived?

No.  If a previously licensed client is required to go through the training program again, no portion can be waived.

If a client was licensed in another State, can his or her license be transferred to Florida?

No.  There is no licensure reciprocity among State Randolph-Sheppard programs.  Such clients need to go through the entire training process.  Often times, however, the prior experience will accelerate the client’s training.

Can a Client have his or her BBE Training Evaluation done at a Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP)?

Yes.  Mr. Wayne Jennings has a list of acceptable vocational evaluators throughout the state. The Rehab Center does remain a good option if one cannot be found close to home.

Can a client skip the classroom modular training offered at the Rehab Center in Daytona Beach?

No.  The classroom modular training is mandatory unless the client successfully passes pre-tests on the content of each module.  This is known also as the CLEP process available for just three of the six training components.  Only one of the three may be clepped by an individual.

Can a Client CLEP all six of the Classroom Modules?

No.  The importance of the classroom training is to ensure the client has adequate preparation to enter a financial risk environment as an independent contractor, operating one of the BBE locations.  Therefore, only one of three selected modules may be clepped.  These modules are: Food Safety, Business Startup and Business Management. 

What threshold is used as the CLEP standard and/or the successful completion of a classroom module?

A score of 80% or better is required to CLEP or pass a classroom module.

Can a Client who has been licensed and has been under a LOFA with the Business Enterprise Program within the last 5 years, go through training again if he or she feels they would benefit from it?

Yes.  If the Client has been accepted for services again or is still a Client, then re-training would be permissible from Business Enterprise Program’s viewpoint.  It depends on classroom space availability.  Perhaps, on the job training with another licensed vendor is more beneficial.

How do I know which Business Enterprise Program Regional Consultant to call about a potential Client?

Unlike Client Services, BBE divides the State into 6 regions.  The following list correlates the BBE Regions and Participant Services’ District Offices:

BBE Region 1 – Pensacola, Panama City, Tallahassee District Offices
BBE Region 2 – Jacksonville and Gainesville District Offices
BBE Region 3 – Orlando, Cocoa and Daytona Beach District Offices
BBE Region 4 - Tampa, Lakeland, Palmetto and Ft. Myers District Offices
BBE Region 5 - West Palm Beach and Sunrise District Offices
BBE Region 6 – Miami District Office

13.8 - BBE Training Team:

  • Administrative Services Consultant – Tallahassee State Office
  • BBE Region 1 Consultant - Tallahassee State Office
  • BBE Region 2 Consultant - Jacksonville District Office
  • BBE Region 3 Consultant - Orlando District Office
  • BBE Region 4 Consultant – Lakeland District Office
  • BBE Region 5 Consultant – Sunrise District Office
  • BBE Region 6 Consultant – Miami District Office

13.9 - Rehab Center Team 

  • BBE Instructors
  • BBE Food Service Training Staff