An executive order signed Friday by Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. is intended to make the state a model for hiring people with disabilities.

The order implements a promotional campaign aimed at recruiting qualified people with disabilities for jobs in state government. It also creates a task force to come up with ways of putting state government "on the cutting edge" of employing the disabled.

"With a 2.7 percent unemployment rate, Utah is almost fully employed, even though thousands of qualified people with disabilities are still unemployed or underemployed," the governor said.

"Utah state government will lead out in hiring this qualified and available population," Huntsman said. "This executive order raises the bar in the hiring practices of state government and will lead the way as a model in hiring qualified people with disabilities."

The order was announced during the 2007 Golden Key Awards that recognize employers and individuals who promote hiring people with disabilities based on their abilities.