General, News

STARability Honors CMON as an Exceptional Employer and Valued Vocational Partner

STARability Foundation is excited to congratulate the Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples (CMON) for being honored as an Exceptional Employer by the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD). The award recognizes exceptional businesses around the State of Florida who have a proven record of tapping into Florida’s talent pipeline by hiring individuals with unique abilities.

CMON began offering vocational training through STARability’s Trailblazer Academy and selling the STAR Studio’s participant-made candles, bracelets and ornaments in their store in 2021. In 2022, CMON hired a Trailblazer Academy participant as a visitor experience specialist. To recognize their support and commitment during this first hire, STARability’s vocational services team chose to nominate CMON for the APD award.

Since receiving the award last October, CMON has increased their support further as a vocational partner by hiring two additional STARability participants that are now able to work independently, as well as offering job shadowing opportunities and an industry tour for Career Camp participants.

“We’re really grateful to work with STARability to find appropriate candidates who can come in and help make sure every kid interacts with someone who they can relate to,” said Jonathan Foerster, CEO of CMON. “It’s extremely important for CMON to have a diverse workforce and we appreciate being able to partner with STAR participants to build that. People with unique abilities provide so much depth to our team and we hope this will serve as motivation for other businesses.”

STARability participants also work at CMON’s Exceptional Nights that offer muted lighting and sounds, cooldown spaces and limited participation to keep crowds to a minimum, created specifically for families with children that have physical and/or neurological disabilities, Autism, and other sensory integration disorders.

“We are proud to honor CMON for their exceptional work and this well-deserved recognition as an inclusive community partner,” said Karen Govern, CEO of STARability Foundation. “As we continue working toward a shared mission to create opportunities for all families in our community, we hope this serves as inspiration for other organizations throughout the region and beyond.”

The Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples (CMON) is a brain-building powerhouse and Southwest Florida’s first museum devoted for children and families to learn through play. With hands-on exhibit galleries, the accessible museum invites visitors of all ages to journey through the swamps of the Everglades, weave through a maze, climb a two-story banyan tree or experiment with the water play station. CMON offers a variety of interactive exhibits providing kids with education, play, learning, science, technology, engineering, inventions, space exploration, art, math, storybooks, creation, building, sensory and child development. For more information, visit