Behind every new attraction, park opening, and resort addition is a team of Imagineers, cast members, and suppliers who might never interact with a guest, but consistently make the Disney experience possible. Walt Disney World Resort has more than 75,000 cast members in Florida, but its impact extends beyond the parks through support of local communities, non-profit organizations and businesses.
Since opening its gates in 1971, Walt Disney World has worked with business suppliers to fuel the local Floridian economy and deliver unique guest experiences. That commitment is evident in the company’s work with local businesses like Provisions Construction & Development, Inc. Led by owner-president and CEO Michael Arrington, Provisions is a firm based in Orlando, Florida that does construction for Disney. But to Michael and the community, Provisions is so much more. It is also the legacy of Michael’s grandfather that has grown alongside Disney and made an impact in the Orlando community. For Michael, “Disney provides entrepreneurs in Central Florida an opportunity to showcase [their] abilities and talents,” while growing their business and ensuring economic sustainability across the region.
Building a Legacy One Project at a Time
Michael and Provisions have ‘humble beginnings,’ as he says. He grew up working alongside his grandfather in the industry. Originally from Jamaica, his grandfather strived to create an enduring legacy for his family in the construction industry —one that Michael has since carried on. He assisted his grandfather with all aspects of the job, developing a deep appreciation for building and the joy of forging something new. Today, Michael carries the lessons his grandfather ingrained into him by always ‘trying to do great things’ and giving back to his family and the community.
Disney, Provisions, and a Shared Commitment to the Community
Provisions was founded on four principles: Passion for the craft, Determination to go beyond, Dedication to the community, and Humility to keep improving. These four principles inspire Michael, a graduate of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) to not only focus on the work but to also understand its impact.
Working with Walt Disney World has pushed Michael to explore new limits to grow Provisions but has also reinforced Michael’s belief in the importance of supporting the local community. Provisions hires local staff and subcontractors, provides scholarships to help students complete their degrees and pursue careers in Central Florida, and even feeds families in need during the holidays. As Michael says, “Disney makes this impact possible for local families in the central Florida area
Disney’s Impact on Florida’s Diverse Entrepreneurs
As the country’s largest single-site employer, Walt Disney World provides more than 75,000 jobs to cast members in Florida. Disney is also Florida’s largest single taxpayer, totaling 1.1 billion dollars in state and local taxes. The company believes that using diverse suppliers provides access to the most innovative, highest quality, and cost-effective ideas. This is part of the Walt Disney Company’s strategy to develop a world-class Supplier Diversity process. Disney knows that through providing opportunities to diverse suppliers creates and showcases the value of economic impact. Disney is committed to investing in the communities we serve by spending at least $1 billion annually with diverse suppliers by 2024, which impacts the local economy and creates more career opportunities.