Potential Talent Pool of 727,301 Job Seekers Could Help  Solve Florida’s Workforce Shortage 

 NEWS RELEASE 
 June 30, 2022 

 CONTACT 
 Tracey Lowe 
 Strategic Communications Director 
 850-212-8438 

 TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (June 30, 2022) – New research released today by The Able Trust shows more than 700,000 persons with disabilities in Florida could help ease the state’s workforce shortage. 

This new report entitled Solving Florida’s Labor Shortage: The Hidden Solution indicates that while more job seekers with disabilities are in the workforce than in past years — a 20.3 percent increase from 2016 to 2020 — a workforce participation gap of more than 40 percentage points still persists. 

 According to the report: 

  • Florida has nearly 500,000 unfilled jobs, 
  • Florida has more than 700,000 persons with a disability between age 20-64 who are not in the workforce, 
  • The counties with the highest population of persons with a disability who are not in the workforce are listed below, 
  • The Able Trust has set a goal to add approximately 300,000 more individuals with disabilities to the workforce in Florida by 2032. 
COUNTYPERSONS WITH DISABILITY NOT IN WORKFORCE
Miami69,252
Hillsborough49,384
Broward46,754
Orange42,825
Palm Beach37,335
Duval34,477
Pinellas34,030
Polk31,655

 Download the report and see the data for your county by visiting www.abletrust.org/hiddensolutions 

According to The Able Trust President and CEO Allison Chase, “Florida projects growth of more than 400,000 new jobs annually between now and 2030. At the same time, the national conversation around diversity, equity, and inclusion of our workforce is at center stage for business, government, and community leaders. There is no better time to leverage Florida’s talented yet underutilized pool of workers with disabilities to strengthen our workforce and ensure Florida’s economy continues to grow.” 

To help reach the goal to add 300,000 more individuals with disabilities to the workforce in Florida by 2032, The Able Trust launched a three-year initiative: Inclusive Florida: Powered by The Able Trust to identify best practices and provide solutions for the challenges Florida faces in increasing persons with disabilities into the state’s workforce. 

“We are excited about the launch of Inclusive Florida,” said Laurie Sallarulo, Chair of The Able Trust Board of Directors and President and CEO of Junior Achievement of South Florida. “The Able Trust is committed to increasing disability employment, and Inclusive Florida will combine research, outreach and capacity building to help strengthen Florida’s statewide disability employment efforts and reach this important goal. The report we’re releasing today will help employers, disability employment counselors, legislators and Floridians with disabilities better understand how Florida is progressing in becoming more inclusive.” 

The primary author for Solving Florida’s Labor Shortage: The Hidden Solution was Jerry Parrish, Ph.D., Consulting Economist, and includes analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. The report was produced in partnership with the Florida Department of Education, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. 

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About The Able Trust 

The Able Trust is Florida’s statewide leader in disability employment dedicated to expanding the employment opportunities of people with disabilities. Established by the Florida legislature to support the Florida Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, The Able Trust collaborates with Florida employers, community organizations, and career development partners to help Floridians with disabilities of all ages enter the workforce. The Able Trust, also known as the Florida Endowment Foundation for Vocational Rehabilitation, is a 501(c)(3) public charity established in 1990. Since its establishment, The Able Trust has worked with community organizations throughout the state to help thousands of Floridians with disabilities of all ages enter the workforce. For information, visit www.abletrust.org