The Key to Closing the Unemployment Gap of Disabled Floridians? Target Their Abilities to Your Business Needs.

By: Florida Chamber Foundation

 

Authored by: Bruce Hagan, RAI Investments

 

Learn More About the Internship Program See What Other Leaders Have Said

 

Did you know that the unemployment rate for Floridians with disabilities is three times Florida’s unemployment rate? RAI Investments took on the challenge of closing this talent gap and in my discussions with business leaders, they all ask me one thing: “If I hire someone who has a disability, how will they do the work?”

Hiring someone with a disability can seem overwhelming, but my advice to businesses is simple: hire the way you always do and match abilities to your needs. For instance, you might not want someone who uses a wheel chair unloading and stacking warehouse inventory- but that person might be ideally suited to run your IT programs, including your inventory software.

RAI Investments was one of 10 businesses selected to participate in the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Internship Program, a pilot program with The Able Trust that serves as a resource for businesses looking to find a qualified employee with a disability through internships.

We’ve learned a lot through the process and have found in this program an incredible intern that taught us ways of enhancing how we do business. People who have a disability who are given an opportunity to come into your business are going to really work hard and, at the end of the day, their differences are not that great from the other 320 million of us out there.

If your business is interested in getting involved with the Florida Chamber Foundation, visit www.FloridaChamber.com/InternshipProgram for more information.

Bruce Hagan CFP is the President and CEO of RAI Investments, a Tallahassee-based business that provides financial planning services to clients. Their intern assisted in marketing efforts and more.