Tell us a little about your business.
The Able Trust, also known as the Florida Endowment for Vocational Rehabilitation, was created by the state legislature in 1990 as a direct supporter of vocational rehabilitation efforts by state agencies and community organizations. Operating under the dba of The Able Trust, the organization has helped to put thousands of individuals with disabilities to work and has supported employment-related efforts in all Florida counties. The Able Trust exists to be a meaningful resource for businesses and communities across the state who desire to incorporate disability inclusion in the workforce.
The Able Trust does its work in three primary strategic areas:
- a comprehensive grant award effort that helps community organizations with programs that provide employment training, coaching, and placement;
- an extensive and successful youth program, which addresses the need to encourage high school youth with disabilities to plan for their education and employment future;
- and programs directed at providing workforce experiences for people with disabilities – internships, mentoring, job shadowing, part and full-time jobs.
The Able Trust also devotes resources to addressing barriers to employment through targeted communication efforts and conducts research to identify issues that affect the employment of Floridians with disabilities. The positive impact of the work of The Able Trust has been felt by non-profit agencies serving people with various disabilities, by post-secondary institutions that welcome students with disabilities, and by people with disabilities and their families. Think of The Able Trust as a bridge that connects organizations who desire to employ persons with disabilities with the tools, data, and resources to do so; the connective tissue that supports our current and future workforce. We aspire to have mutually beneficial relationships with business and philanthropic communities of Florida to fulfill our mission and help fulfill theirs.
Why did you join the Florida Chamber Foundation Board of Trustees, and what would you say to other business leaders about the benefit and value of this relationship?
I joined the FCF Board of Trustees to be a part of a well-respected group of business and philanthropic leaders, and to support the important work of the Florida Chamber Foundation. The recent work of FCF around prosperity, opportunity, and inclusion is particularly important to the work of The Able Trust. We want to network with leaders who share the same values of prosperity for ALL Floridians and have a seat at the table with the business community to encourage disability workforce inclusion.
What are your particular goals/areas of interest as it applies to reaching the Florida 2030 Blueprint goals?
Talent and Quality of Life goals would be the most relevant to us. Specifically,
- >80% of Florida’s workforce has essential employability skills
- >60% of Floridians 25-64 have a high-value postsecondary certificate, degree, or training experience
- 95% of entering high school students graduate within 4 years
- Increased size and impact of nonprofit and philanthropic sectors
- Florida’s brand and reputation as best place to live, work, raise a family, visit, learn, play, relocate, and compete remains top in the nation – specifically as it relates to being a state that is disability friendly and continues to create a diverse workforce.
The Able Trust supports The Foundation’s Florida Diversity Equity & Inclusion Project and believes it should include person with disabilities.
Click here to learn about the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Board of Trustees who are working together to steer Florida toward long-term solutions.