The improved economy has done much to kick-start the job market for many people whose employment prospects had all but stalled in recent years. However, disabled adults continue to face additional barriers in finding employment.

That is why the Chamber’s Disability Works Committee has taken on the role of matchmaker as it seeks to align opportunities for employers and prospective employees alike. The Business-to-Business Summit: Putting Workforce Excellence & Diversity to Work is a chance for businesses to discover why more than 400 previous summit attendees have hired more than 1,200 people with disabilities.

The event takes place May 1 from 8:30-11 a.m. at the Genesys Conference & Banquet Center, 805 Health Park Blvd., in Grand Blanc.

David Mulder, Director of Lansing Distribution for Meijer, is the keynote speaker. Michigan Lt. Gov. Brian Calley and Michigan Supreme Court Justice Richard Bernstein are the guest speakers who will join the conference via a live video feed. Calley and Bernstein will also participate in a 20-minute question-and-answer session with the audience.

Currently, about 500,000 people with disabilities in Michigan remain sidelined from the workforce, even though 43 percent have a college education. Some employers are missing out on this untapped potential, said Heather Kale, Director of Member Services for the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce.

“Attendees will hear personal accounts of the benefits of hiring workers with disabilities,” said Kale. “It’s an excellent forum for employers to learn how maximize the diversity of talent that exists here in Flint and Genesee County.”

The B2B Summit will feature an interactive panel of local business leaders who have experienced significant returns from committing to Workforce Excellence & Diversity. In addition, the Michigan Rehabilitation Services will present practical and effective strategies for hiring disabled workers.

This event is free, but reservations are required. Breakfast and registration begins at 8:30 a.m.

For special accommodations or questions, please email vickis@disnetwork.org or  hkale@flintandgenesee.org.