Future Business Leaders of America

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Future Business Leaders of American (FBLA) is one of ten nationally recognized vocational student organizations in the United States (Gordon, 2003). The organization is a nonprofit educational association for students who are preparing for careers in business and business-related fields. The organization is composed of four divisions:

  • FBLA for middle school students
  • FBLA for high school students
  • Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) for post-secondary students
  • A professional division composed of businesspeople, educators, and other individuals who uphold the goals of the organization ("Frequently Asked Questions," 1999)

FBLA has been in existence since 1937. Dr. Hamden I. Forkner of Teachers College of Columbia University developed the first chapter in New York City (Vaughn et al., 1987). In 1940 the National Council for Business Education recognized and sponsored FBLA. The first high school chapter was chartered in Johnson City, Tennessee, on February 3, 1942. Currently, more than 25,000 active members participate in the organization.

Students participating in FBLA have the opportunity to develop leadership skills; enter a variety of competitions at local, state, and national levels; establish occupational goals; and learn from business and professional individuals in their communities. The goals of FBLA (and PBL) are:

  • To promote competent, aggressive business leadership
  • To understand American business enterprise
  • To establish career goals
  • To encourage scholarship
  • To promote sound financial management
  • To develop character and self-confidence
  • To facilitate transition from school to work ("Frequently Asked Questions," 1999)

Conferences, seminars, awards, publications, and scholarships are services provided for members of the organization. By providing practical hands-on activities for students in the business arena, FBLA continues to prepare young men and women to become successful leaders in our ever-changing society. More information is available from FBLA or PBL at FBLA/PBL Inc., 1912 Association Drive, Reston, Virginia 22091-1591, (800)FBLA-WIN, or http://www.fbla-pbl.org/.

see also Business Professionals of America; DECA; SkillsUSA


"Frequently Asked Questions", Retrieved October 2, 2005, from http://www.fbla-pbl.org/.

Gordon, Howard R. D. (2003). The History and Growth of Voca tional Education in America (2nd ed.). Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland Press.

Vaughn, P. R., Vaughn, R. C., and Vaughn, D. L. (1987). Handbook for Advisors of Vocational Student Organizations.Athens, GA: American Association for Vocational Instructional Materials.

Jill T. White