Lettuce Dream, a social enterprise engaged in hydroponic farming, will host the “Leveraging Talent of a Diverse Workforce” conference at the beginning of October in Maryville, Missouri.

The nonprofit organization provides employment and job training for people with cognitive and developmental disabilities in Northwest Missouri.

The conference will feature Randy Lewis, former vice president of Walgreens supply chain, as the keynote speaker. While Lewis worked for Walgreens, he introduced an inclusive model in a distribution center resulting in 10 percent of the work force being staffed by people with disabilities.

“It’s a one-time deal, it’s special we were able to get a hold of him,” Lettuce Dream Board President Diane Francis said.

Sessions and panel discussions will focus on utilizing the talents of people with disabilities in the workforce in the context of an aging population.

“Once the baby boomers age out of the workforce, there will be a void to fill,” Francis said. “Business owners who have trouble finding someone can benefit from more diversity in the workplace.”

The conference is open to educators, parents, business owners and anyone interested in learning about the topic.

The event will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 3, at the Conference Center at Mozingo Lake Recreation Park in Maryville. The cost of the conference is $90 until Friday, Sept. 27, and $110 afterwards. Registration can be done online at www.randylewismaryville.eventbrite.com.

For more information, visit www.lettucedream.org.

Jessica Kopp can be reached

at jessica.kopp@newspressnow.com.

Follow her on Twitter: @NPNOWKopp