Florida Chamber Foundation Internship Program

Why It Matters to Florida

> FIND OUT Your County’s Unemployment Rate on The Florida Scorecard

> LISTEN to John Newstreet’s podcast on why Kissimmee / Osceola County Chamber of Commerce chose to participate in the internship program

> WATCH Personal Testimonials on Finding Employment with a Disability: Sarah Goldman and Derek Carraway

Florida is home to a large, untapped workforce population that employers are overlooking. The Florida Chamber Foundation’s study, Quantifying the Unemployment Rate for Workers with Disabilities in Florida,  found the following facts:

  • There are more than 1.13 million Floridians with disabilities between the ages of 16 and 65,
  • Of those, 62.9 percent or more than 700,000 are currently not employed and may want to be part of Florida’s workforce,
  •  In 2014, the unemployment rate for workers with disabilities in Florida was 18.1 percent, compared to 6.3 percent for non-disabled workers, and
  • By 2030, an additional six million more residents will call Florida home and two million more jobs will be needed, it is vital to help every Floridian that wants to work find a job.


Florida Chamber Foundation Takes Action

> LISTEN to the Florida Chamber Series on Free Enterprise Discuss Internships

In looking at this issue as it impacts Florida’s current and future workforce, the Florida Chamber Foundation has partnered with The Able Trust to develop a program that will help match businesses with qualified individuals with disabilities to be placed in internships. Matching talented interns with businesses throughout Florida will help meet the long term goal of closing the gap on the unemployment rate of Floridians with disabilities.



The Plan for Statewide Engagement

HOST AN INTERNSHIP SEMINAR at Your Regional Chamber of Commerce

> FIND OUT If Your Business Qualifies For Taking an Intern

To help create a more diverse workforce, the Florida Chamber Foundation will also work with regional chambers of commerce and Florida businesses to:

  • Educate businesses on why employing people with disabilities makes good business sense through regional Internship Seminars,
  • Connect businesses with resources and tools that are currently available to hire and retain persons with disabilities,
  • Match interns with a business through the coordination with local disability employment resources,
  • Raise awareness of the business’s willingness to diversify their workforce, and
  • Supporting Florida businesses’ bottom line, by reimbursing the business for the intern’s accrued cost, up to a predetermined amount.

For more information about the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Internship Program, contact Whitney Harris at (850) 521-1237 or WHarris@FLFoundation.org.



Research has also shown that companies who offer internships to people with disabilities are more likely to overcome misperceptions associated with disabilities and hire within this population when filling future jobs.


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