LAKELAND: Area Leaders Voice Support for the Florida Competitive Workforce Act

– Florida Business Leaders Back Updating the State’s Anti-Discrimination Law –

(Tallahassee, Fla.) – Leaders from the Lakeland community today voiced their support for the Florida Competitive Workforce Act. The Lakeland Downtown Development Authority, representing property and business owners, and City Commissioner Don Selvage are backing an effort by the Florida Businesses for a Competitive Workforce coalition to promote passage of House Bill 33 and Senate Bill 156 – the Florida Competitive Workforce Act.

While it is illegal to discriminate in employment, housing and public accommodations based race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, handicap or marital status, the gay and transgender community is currently left out of statewide non-discrimination protections. For this reason, top employers are backing the Competitive Workforce Act, which will give the state a competitive advantage in today’s evolving marketplace.

“Promoting laws that make our state and our communities a better place to run a business and to work is good for business and good for families,” said Commissioner Selvage. “I endorse the Florida Competitive Workforce Act, which will promote economic growth by attracting employers and talent to our state.” 

“While our mission is local, we are pleased to support the Florida Competitive Workforce Act,” said LDDA Executive Director Julie Townsend. “The statewide measure enhances the ability of our state and our city to create an environment that fosters economic development.”

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About Commissioner Don Selvage
Elected to the city commission in 2009, Selvage chairs the Real Estate & Transportation Committee and is a member of the Utility Committee and Municipal Boards & Committees.  He also serves on the boards of Lakeland Area Mass Transit District Board, Lakeland Downtown Development Authority, Sun ‘n Fun, Polk Transit Authority, and the Transportation Planning Organization. The commissioner served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 30 years, retiring as a colonel before coming to Lakeland in 1999. He is the owner of SHR Human Resources, LLC. Active in many civic and professional organizations, Selvage holds a degree in Political Science from Ohio State University and advanced degrees in Administration and National Security Affairs from Central Michigan University and Salve Regina College respectively.

About Lakeland Downtown Development Authority

The Lakeland Downtown Development Authority is a special taxing district whose mission is to improve and stimulate the environment for economic development in a people-oriented downtown community. We do not regulate, but exist to help Downtown business owners, residents and visitors have the best experience possible in the heart of Lakeland. For more information, please visit

About Florida Businesses for a Competitive Workforce
The Florida Businesses for a Competitive Workforce Coalition is a 501c(4) whose mission is to support passing The Competitive Workforce Act, which would modernize state law to include anti-discrimination protection based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. The coalition believes that the Florida Competitive Workforce Act will make Florida more competitive in the national and global marketplace in much the same way companies have benefitted from adopting anti-discrimination policies. 

The 21 members of the coalition are the AmericanAirlines Arena, Bilzin Sumberg, C1Bank, Carlton Fields Jorden Burt, CSX, Darden, Florida Blue, the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, Haskell, HSN, Marriott, the Miami HEAT, NextEra Energy, On Top of the World Communities, Raymond James, St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce, Tech Data, the University of North Florida, Walt Disney World Resorts, Wells Fargo and Winn Dixie. For additional information, please go to or visit the coalition on Twitter and Facebook.