August 11, 2016

Interns with Opportunities

Interns with Opportunities

An Internship Program for Floridians with Disabilities
Offered by the Florida Chamber Foundation and The Able Trust.

Florida is home to a large, untapped workforce population that employers are overlooking. According to the Florida Chamber Foundation’s recent study, Quantifying the Unemployment Rate for Workers with Disabilities in Florida, 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. With an additional six million more residents expected by 2030 and two million more jobs to fill, it is vital to help every Floridian that wants to work find a job.

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 misperceptions 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.

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

  • Educate businesses on why employing people with disabilities makes good business sense,
  • 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.

To learn how you can get involved with the Florida Chamber Foundation Internship Program for Floridians with Disabilities, contact Whitney Harris at wharris@flfoundation.org or 850-521-1237.