Welcome to the Website of the Local
Business Leadership Networks
Visionary leaders see beyond limitations.
They encourage the people they lead to see their own and others' possibilities.
New to the local Florida Business Leadership Networks (BLNs)?
Organized and staffed by Wilson Resources, Inc. and funded by Workforce Florida, Inc. and the Florida Agency for Persons with Disabilities, the local BLNs are dedicated to promoting the employment of qualified workers who have disabilities and assisting businesses and organizations in the recruitment, hiring, training and retaining of people with disabilities. Local BLNs also assist businesses in diversifying their customer base to include the estimated 2.2 million Floridians with disabilities. The local Florida Business Leadership Networks (BLN) are part of the statewide BLN, organized by the Able Trust, and the United States BLN.
"Once an overlooked talent pool, people with disabilities are contributing to the American economy in ways never imagined in previous generations."
Thomas J. Donohue, President & CEO of US Chamber of Commerce
Florida's local BLNs are employer-to-employer networks with a common vision of increasing workforce diversity through the recruitment and hiring of qualified workers with disabilities. They are part of a state and national network of 51 BLNs in 37 states.
Businesses need workers and people with disabilities are an untapped source of dependable employees. Workers with disabilities have higher than average retention rates and company loyalty.
U.S. employers will face a shortage of 10,000,000 workers by 2010 (151 million vs. 141 million),according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
According to Census 2000, 49.7 million people (19.3% of the population) have some level of disability; in Florida the estimate is 22 percent of the population. People with disabilities represent America's largest minority group, but only 32% of Americans with disabilities ages 18-64 are employed. More than two-thirds who are unemployed would rather be working.
Florida's state and local BLNs are working to bring employers who need workers and qualified employees with disabilities who want to work together.
Hiring people with disabilities can also help employers tap an enormous market niche. People with disabilities have a combined income of more than $1 trillion and $220 billion in discretionary income. In comparison, the teen market controls $140 billion. Research has shown that a majority of households patronize businesses with people with disabilities in their advertising.
The Bottom Line
A diverse workforce is vital to business success. Approximately one in five Floridians has a disability. By employing people with disabilities, Florida's employers can effectively position themselves to develop products and services that are more likely to sell to a diverse customer base, resulting in a significant increase in long term profits. Florida's BLNs are committed to helping your business achieve diversity through the employment of qualified people with disabilities.
"You (BLNs) are leading the way, and that is exactly what we need to build a vibrant, productive, and inclusive workforce for the 21st century."
- Elaine S. Chao, Secretary, US Department of Labor