New Florida Chamber Foundation Report Shows More Floridians with Disabilities Are Employed

Challenges and Opportunities Remain to Create Opportunities for Economic Prosperity

 

Tallahassee, Fla. (Jan. 17, 2019) – The Florida Chamber Foundation today released their Study of Employment of Floridians with a Disability Report, which shows more Floridians with a disability were employed in 2017- with the unemployment rate for Floridians with a disability falling nearly 7 percentage points from 2013 to 2017.

 

The report, which also includes county data for several metrics, shows that:

  • There are an estimated 2.67 million Floridians who indicate that they have a disability-13.4 percent of all Floridians. In the 18 to 64 age group — the group most likely to be in the workforce — 1.2 million Floridians indicate they have a disability.
  • The employment of Floridians with a disability has increased from 347,119 in 2013 to a total of 386,739 in 2017 —that’s an increase of 39,620 people.
  • Florida’s unemployment rate for people with a disability has dropped from 23.2 percent to 16.3 percent from 2013 to 2017.

“It is very important that we conduct research as a basis to consider progress and to determine what we and our partners are doing to make Florida’s workforce more inclusive for people with disabilities,” said Dr. Susanne Homant, President and CEO of The Able Trust. “This study not only shows how Florida as a whole is doing, it gives us insight into how each individual county is doing. We have a large untapped workforce resource in Florida and I urge business leaders to take some time to investigate this group. There are some really talented potential employees just waiting for an opportunity.”

 

While a declining unemployment rate for Floridians with disability is good news, challenges and opportunities still remain.

 

“As we look toward 2030, we know Florida will need to create approximately 1.7 million net new jobs, many in industries that don’t exist today,” said Dr. Jerry Parrish, Chief Economist of the Florida Chamber Foundation. “As we look at the number of people who are not in the workforce and compare it to future needs, it’s important to continue our state’s momentum and focus on creating pathways toward economic opportunity, diversifying and growing our economy, and ensuring Florida’s cradle to career system is ready to create the talent Florida’s businesses need.”

 

According to the Florida Chamber Foundation’s research, strategies to improve employment by persons with disabilities include:

  • Continue to Grow and Diversify Florida’s Economy
    The Florida Chamber Foundation recently released their 2019 Economic Outlook & Jobs Forecast for Florida, which shows that Florida is expected to create 150,000 new jobs in 2019, with a low chance of an economic recession. At the same time, Florida’s businesses continue to look for talented workers. In fact, according to TheFloridaScorecard.org*, there are 277,400 jobs looking for people and 335,000 people look for jobs. A healthy economy could mean more opportunity for workers with disabilities looking to enter the workforce
  • Grow Skills Training Opportunities
    Increasing the number of company and government internships, apprenticeships, mentoring, and other workforce experiences for persons with a disability, would allow more people to get valuable work experience to help them get that all-important first job or a job that lets them re-enter the workforce. Programs like The Able Trust’s High School High Tech and the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Person’s with Disabilities Internship Program seek to work with businesses to create hands-on training and skills development for persons with disabilities.
  • Remove Penalties Toward Economic Opportunity
    As the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Prosperity Initiative looks at the impact of fiscal cliffs, its important to remember that Floridians with disabilities face their own set of “fiscal cliffs,” or challenges to opportunities. Removing the penalties for workers with disabilities will help ensure that marginal increases in incomes do not result in severe losses of those programs that actually help them live independently and help them become able to work, provide for themselves, and advance in their careers.
  • Reduce Overall Poverty in Florida
    According to TheFloridaScorecard.org, Florida’s poverty rate currently sits at 15.5 percent, meaning more than 3 million Floridians today are dealing with the issues poverty brings. There is a connection between poverty and disability, in that if you reduce poverty you reduce the incidence of disability, and vice-versa.

 

The report, an update on the research released in 2016 and part of the Florida Chamber Foundation’s ongoing research, can be found at www.FloridaChamber.com/EmploymentReport2019.

 

For county specific data or for more information on the report, please contact kbustamante@flfoundation.org.

 

*as of 1.16.2019

 

 

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The Florida Chamber Foundation is the business-led, solutions development and research organization working in partnership with state business leaders to secure Florida’s future. The Foundation’s “Six Pillars” serve as a visioning platform for developing the first-ever, long-term strategic plan for the state. The Foundation’s work focuses on: 1) Talent Supply and Education, 2) Innovation and Economic Development, 3) Infrastructure and Growth Leadership, 4) Business Climate and Competitiveness, 5) Civic and Governance Systems, and 6) Quality of Life and Quality Places. Founded in 1968, the Foundation is a crucial voice for improving the state’s pro-business climate to enable Florida to grow and prosper. Visit www.FLFoundation.org  for more information.

Internship Program Graduates First Internship

The Florida Chamber Foundation has developed a program that matches businesses with qualified individuals with disabilities to be placed in internships. We are please to have this program’s first intern graduate, Alan. Alan interned with Christina Pilkington, Director of Administration, for the Kissimmee / Osceola County Chamber of Commerce, where he helped with administrative tasks that supported different departments including sales and special events.

“Alan’s work was greatly appreciated by the staff of the Kissimmee Chamber,” said PILKINGTON. “We appreciate the efforts of the Florida Chamber regarding this program, and, from our perspective, we believe it was a success.”

LISTEN to John Newstreet, President and CEO of the Kissimmee / Osceola County Chamber of Commerce, discuss why his chamber chose to participate in the Florida Chamber Foundation Internship Program.

Two more internships have been created by Crystal River Main Street in Citrus County, and My Nature’s Delight in Polk County. The Florida Chamber Foundation Internship Program is provided by a grant from The Able Trust. LEARN MORE about the program.

If your business is interested in creating an internship, contact Whitney Harris at .

Help Better Understand the Internship Process with The Able Trust’s Employer Internship Guide

> DOWNLOAD The Able Trust’s Employer Internship Guide

 

In looking at the issues that impact Florida’s current workforce, the Florida Chamber Foundation and The Able Trust have developed an internship program to help businesses access this talent pool. Research has also shown that companies who offer internships to people with disabilities are more likely to overcome misconceptions associated with disabilities and hire within this population when filling future jobs. 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.

ADA Anniversary Reminds Us Florida Can and Should Do More to Employ All Floridians

On July 26, 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law, prohibiting discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, transportation and more. While our nation has made great strides to ensure persons with disabilities are able to enter the workforce, Florida can and should do more to to employ all Floridians.

Research from the Florida Chamber Foundation shows there are more than 700,000 Floridians with disabilities are not in the workforce. This report, Quantifying the Unemployment Rate for Workers with Disabilities in Florida, analyzes the working-age population in Florida and quantifies the unemployment rate by county for Florida’s potential workforce with disabilities, using the latest data available.

As Florida businesses work to meet growing needs for workforce, both those Floridians with disabilities who are currently unemployed, as well as those who are not currently in the workforce can be potential employees for Florida companies.

To help in this arena, the Florida Chamber Foundation and The Able Trust have developed an internship program to help businesses access this talent pool. Research has also shown that companies who offer internships to people with disabilities are more likely to overcome misconceptions associated with disabilities and hire within this population when filling future jobs. 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.

You Can Help

Click here to learn more about our internship program. To create an internship at your business or to learn more about our efforts, please contact Whitney Harris at (850) 521-1237.

Whitney Harris Discusses New Internship Program for Floridians With Disabilities

June 27, 2016

 

The Florida Chamber Foundation, through a partnership with The Able Trust, recently launched an internship program for Floridians with disabilities. Through this internship program, business will be able to hire a person with a disability and at the end of the internship, the Florida Chamber Foundation will reimburse them the full cost of that intern.

Earlier this year, Florida Chamber Foundation Chief Economist Dr. Jerry D. Parrish provided an independent analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Population Survey to develop the first-of-its-kind Florida Scorecard research, Quantifying the Unemployment Rate for Workers with Disabilities in Florida. According to the report,   there are more than 1.13 million Floridians with disabilities between 16 and 65.

“We found that there are more than 700,000 people with disabilities that aren’t even included in the workforce and that their unemployment rate was three times that of everybody else’s at 18.1 percent, said WHITNEY HARRIS. “People with disabilities are a large untapped workforce. In order to create a more diverse group of workers for our state, we need to tap into every component that Florida has to offer.”

Contact Whitney Harris at 850-521-1237 if you are interested in taking part in the Florida Chamber’s internship program.

 

Unemployment Research  Host an Internship Seminar   Hire an Intern  Watch Our Video Series   Employment Resources

More Than 700,000 Floridians with Disabilities Not in the Workforce

Florida Chamber Encourages Meaningful Employment Opportunities for the Disabled and Launches Unique Abilities Internship Program

 

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (January 6, 2016) – New research released today by the Florida Chamber Foundation shows a disproportionately high unemployment rate among Floridians with disabilities. As part of the Chamber Foundation’s Florida Scorecard Research Project, this first-of-its-kind research shows more than 700,000 individuals with disabilities are not in Florida’s workforce.

Florida Chamber Foundation Chief Economist Dr. Jerry D. Parrish provided an independent analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Population Survey to develop the research results and estimates. According to the report, entitled Quantifying the Unemployment Rate for Workers with Disabilities in Florida, there are:

  • More than 1.13 million Floridians with disabilities between 16 and 65, and
  • Of those, 62.9 percent or more than 700,000 are currently not employed and may want to be part of Florida’s workforce.

The results of the report show that not only is the unemployment rate for Floridians with unique abilities substantially higher than the overall unemployment rate, but also the variability of the rates across counties is extremely high. While the annual average unemployment rate for 2014 was 6.3 percent, the unemployment rate for Floridians with disabilities in the 40 most-populated counties was 18.1 percent.

According to Dr. Susanne Homant, President and CEO of The Able Trust, this groundbreaking data has been a missing piece of important information in measuring progress among Floridians with disabilities.

“Part of the successful growth of Florida’s economy is access to all the talent in Florida and in creating a diverse and inclusive workforce,” Dr. Homant said. “The Chamber Foundation Scorecard Research Project will provide employment data and measure success.”

As a result of the significant disparity in the unemployment rate of persons with disabilities, the Florida Chamber Foundation is taking action by working with partners, including The Able Trust and local Chambers, to launch an internship program that assists Floridians with disabilities in finding meaningful employment opportunities.

“The Florida Chamber wants to do its part to encourage businesses across Florida to create job opportunities for individuals with unique abilities, and we’re pleased to help jumpstart this movement by partnering on the unique abilities internship program,” said Mark Wilson, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber Foundation.

The research provided for this report is the first in a series of reports conducted for the Florida Scorecard in an ongoing effort to provide metrics that track Florida’s progress and prepare the state for a more competitive future. The data provided in this report will offer Florida policymakers a new tool to help quantify the amount of progress Florida makes over the next several years in utilizing Floridians with disabilities in our workforce.

“With an additional six million more residents expected by 2030 and two million more jobs to fill, it will be critical to help every Floridian that wants to work find a job,” said Tony Carvajal, Executive Vice President of the Florida Chamber Foundation.

This research was funded in part by a grant from The Able Trust.

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The Florida Chamber Foundation is the business-led, solutions development and research organization working in partnership with state business leaders to secure Florida’s future. The Foundation’s “Six Pillars” serve as a visioning platform for developing the first-ever, long-term strategic plan for the state. The Foundation’s work focuses on: 1) Talent Supply and Education, 2) Innovation and Economic Development, 3) Infrastructure and Growth Leadership, 4) Business Climate and Competitiveness, 5) Civic and Governance Systems, and 6) Quality of Life and Quality Places. Founded in 1968, the Foundation is a crucial voice for improving the state’s pro-business climate to enable Florida to grow and prosper. Visit www.FLFoundation.org for more information.

Employing People With All Abilities

Building a competitive business climate in our state requires fostering a diverse talent pool for businesses to choose from. Each industry has a need, just as each Floridian does. Yet, as we continue to focus on getting Floridians back to work, there is a large population that often gets overlooked. In 2013, the unemployment rate for people with a disability was 13.2 percent, compared with a 7.1 percent unemployment rate for people with no disability. This important group of prospective employees represents a large untapped pool of skills and talent in the U.S.

Successful businesses recognize that a diverse staff positively impacts their company. A report by the National Governor’s Association states that businesses report positive outcomes from employing people with disabilities. These benefits include increased productivity and above average performance and quality of work.

In addition, as our state’s population ages, the number of people in the workforce aged 18-64 will shrink, requiring those who remain in Florida’s talent pool to be ready to meet the needs of businesses. Broadening the scope from which employees are hired can provide greater diversity as well as access to the necessary skills and experience.

So what can Florida businesses do to fill the gap between unemployed Floridians and business need?

To help make the transition from unemployed to employed, people with disabilities benefit from programs such as internships, on-the-job coaching and job skills-training. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Business Leadership Network (USBLN®) have developed a report highlighting businesses that excel at creating a more inclusive workplace, including leading companies such as Florida Blue, Wells Fargo and Northrop Grumman. Many of the companies outlined in the report have created programs that not only help their bottom line, but give many Floridians and their families’ opportunities that, without the private sector, would not be readily available.

In Florida, the Able Trust has developed an internship program to help businesses properly structure internships in their operations, for all temporary and seasonal jobs, and for employees with or without disabilities. The seminars, which will be hosted around the state, are free and include a comprehensive tool kit to assist businesses in properly structuring temporary work experiences in their operations.

“In today’s competitive economy, a company’s workforce must mirror the marketplace in order to understand the changing needs for goods and services,” said Dr. Susanne Homant, President & CEO, The Able Trust. “The  internship program the Able Trust has developed and is providing free of charge to Florida’s businesses, is designed to help employers provide work experiences that train potential employees and assist employers in accessing needed talent from the workforce made up of people with disabilities, at no risk to those businesses.”

For a list of upcoming programs or to find ways to find out more about hiring persons with disabilities, visit the Able Trust Internship Program event registration page or call 850-224-4493.

Want to Take Part in Securing Florida’s Future?

The Florida Chamber Foundation is currently recruiting the brightest minds from industry across the state to help us secure Florida’s future. If you would like to Join the Florida Chamber Foundation Board or Trustees or want to help prepare the Cornerstone 2030 report, contact Tony Carvajal today.

 

About the Florida Scorecard Did You Know:

The Florida Scorecard, located at www.TheFloridaScorecard.com, presents metrics across Florida’s economy. Each week, the Florida Chamber Foundation produces a Scorecard Stat that takes an in-depth look at one specific statistic. If you would like additional information on the Weekly Scorecard Stat or on the Florida Scorecard, please contact Tracey Lowe with the Florida Chamber Foundation at 850.521.1226 or TLowe@FLFoundation.org.  You can also follow the Florida Chamber Foundation on Twitter at @FLChamberFDN.