Florida SBDC Network State Office (Pensacola, Fla.) – The Florida SBDC Network and The Able Trust have formalized a strategic partnership to strengthen the small business community through training and education on the availability and expertise of persons with disabilities in the workforce.
Both the Florida SBDC and The Able Trust will work together with the primary goal of supporting the small business workforce and entrepreneurship for persons with disabilities in the workforce. This partnership will help facilitate programs, events, and mutual partnerships to serve small business and an expanded workforce, and provide access to the Florida SBDC Network and The Able Trust programs and resources.
The Florida SBDC Network provides expertise, training, and resources to help small businesses launch, grow and thrive. State designated as Florida’s principal provider of small business assistance, the Florida SBDC Network has more than 40 offices from Pensacola to Key West to serve the needs of Florida’s small business community.
“The Able Trust is a committed leader in providing educational and training opportunities for successful employment for persons with disabilities. The combined expertise of The Able Trust and the Florida SBDC compliment each other in a way that will continue to greatly serve the small businesses of Florida. We are thrilled to be able to partner with them and are looking forward to expanding our services to help small businesses grow,” said Greg Britton, state director of the Florida SBDC Network.
The mission of The Able Trust is to be a key leader in providing opportunities for successful employment for Floridians with disabilities. The organization was created by the state legislature in 1990 as the Florida Endowment for Vocational Rehabilitation, as a direct supporter of vocational rehabilitation efforts by state agencies and community organizations. Operating under the dba of The Able Trust and supporting the work of The Division of Vocational Education in the Florida Department of Education, this organization has helped to put thousands of individuals with disabilities to work, and has supported employment-related efforts in all counties of Florida.
“The Able Trust is excited about our partnership with the Florida SBDC Network and welcome the opportunity to become a resource to small businesses. We recognize the contributions small businesses make to their local economies and as employers, they will play an important role in helping expand disability employment. We believe this partnership will also help strengthen Florida’s workforce as more employers become aware of the underutilized talent pool of persons with disabilities,” said Allison Chase, president and CEO of The Able Trust.
About The Able Trust:
The Able Trust devotes resources to addressing barriers to employment through targeted communication efforts and engages in data driven initiatives that affect the employment of Floridians with disabilities. The positive impact of the work of The Able Trust has been felt by non-profit agencies serving people with various disabilities, by post-secondary institutions that welcome students with disabilities, Florida’s business community, and by people with disabilities and their families. For more information, please visit www.abletrust.org.
About the Florida SBDC Network:
For more than 45 years, the Florida SBDC Network, the state’s principal provider of business assistance [Fl. Stat. 288.001], has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development to provide existing and emerging small and medium-sized business owners with management and knowledge resources that enable overall growth, increased profitability, and economic prosperity for Florida’s economy. In 2021, the Florida SBDC Network delivered more than 157,000 hours of consulting to more than 18,000 small business clients – resulting in business owners securing over half a billion in capital, securing more than $380 million in government contracts, impacting 28,930 jobs, increasing sales by over $4 billion, and creating 778 new businesses.
With over 40 offices statewide, the Florida SBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Department of Defense, State of Florida and other private and public partners. The Florida SBDC Network, headquartered at the University of West Florida, is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs and is a recipient of the President’s E Award for Export Service. Florida SBDC services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Language assistance services are available for individuals with limited English proficiency. For more information, please visit www.FloridaSBDC.org.