Federal and Military Employers Honored for Support of AbilityOne
Program Provides Employment Opportunity to More Than 50,000 People with Disabilities
WASHINGTON, May 17, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NISH, Creating Employment Opportunities for People with Significant Disabilities, announced today the recipients of their Customer Awards which are part of the annual NISH National Achievement Awards. The Customer Awards recognize Federal agencies, including military organizations, which have demonstrated outstanding support for the AbilityOne® Program. AbilityOne is the largest single source of employment for people who are blind or have significant disabilities and currently provides employment opportunities to more than 50,000 people nationwide.
"As a result of the AbilityOne Program, more than 50,000 people across the country who have significant disabilities are able to say, 'I have a job.' This program would not be what it is today if it wasn't for the tremendous support it receives from Federal and military customers," said Bob Chamberlin, President and CEO of NISH. "The relationships that exist between these governmental organizations and our NISH-affiliated nonprofit agencies are instrumental in the growth and success of the Program mission of providing meaningful employment opportunities for people who are blind or have significant disabilities."
The Customer Awards are divided into categories for products and services. The Government Award for Services recognizes both military organizations and civilian Federal agencies that have provided outstanding support to the AbilityOne Program for services. The Government Award for Products recognizes a military organization or civilian Federal agency that has provided outstanding support to the AbilityOne program for products.
The winners of the 2011 NISH National Achievement Customer Awards include:
U.S. Army Medical Command, Fort Sam Houston, TX (Government Award for Services – Military)
U.S. Army Medical Command (USAMEDCOM), under the leadership of Colonel Scott A. Svabek has seen a spectacular 300 percent increase in AbilityOne Program jobs for people with disabilities in just three years. All told, USAMEDCOMM together with PSCI, its NISH-affiliated AbilityOne nonprofit agency (NPA), employs 185 people with disabilities, including 52 service-disabled veterans. Colonel Svabek champions the quality of work performed by AbilityOne employees and clearly is impassioned by the difference employment makes in the lives of veterans and others with significant disabilities.
U.S. Army Garrison, Redstone Arsenal, AL (Government Award for Services – Military)
U.S. Army Garrison-Redstone has been a supporter of the AbilityOne Program since its inception in the 1970's. AbilityOne contracts with the federal community of Redstone Arsenal employing 425 people with disabilities who provide janitorial services for more than 500 buildings and maintenance of some 6,000 acres of ground -- the largest U.S. grounds maintenance contract in the world. Garrison's Public Works staff works along with Phoenix, a NISH-affiliated AbilityOne NPA, to ensure the success of the partnership by meeting regularly and advocating for the AbilityOne Program.
U.S. General Services Administration, White House Center, Washington DC (Government Award for Services – Civilian)
The U.S. General Service Administration's (GSA) enthusiastic and longtime support for the AbilityOne Program is magnificently showcased at the GSA White House Center Eisenhower Executive Office Building (EEOB) in Washington, D.C. The cleanliness of this very high profile historic site is paramount and GSA has entrusted that responsibility to the NPA, Didlake, Inc. of Manassas, Va. Since Didlake took over custodial services in 2008, GSA has expanded the contract by 30 percent to encompass 800,000 sq. ft. of building space. Jobs for people with disabilities have simultaneously more than doubled, from 24 to 52 positions.
Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, PA (Government Award for Products)
Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Troop Support of Philadelphia is an extraordinary promoter of the AbilityOne Program and its product manufacturing capabilities for the U.S. Armed Forces. Under the leadership of DLA Director Navy Vice Admiral Alan Thompson, the agency has looked to AbilityOne to provide uniforms and other products to the Department of Defense. DLA has counted on Vocational Guidance Services (VGS) of Cleveland, Ohio, a NISH-affiliated AbilityOne NPA, since the 1990's to manufacture uniforms for the U.S. Army and the U.S. Marine Corps, adding the U.S. Navy in 2001. DLA has continued to add contracts through the years resulting in more AbilityOne Program jobs and now employ 52 people with disabilities.
The Customer Awards will be presented at the 2012 NISH National Training and Achievement Conference taking place in Indianapolis, IN, May 21-23. Nominations for Customer Awards may be submitted by an AbilityOne-producing NPA.
NISH–Creating Employment for People with Significant Disabilities
Established in 1974, NISH (www.nish.org) is one of two national, nonprofit agencies designated by the U.S. AbilityOne Commission to support nonprofit agencies (NPAs) participating in the AbilityOne® Program. NISH provides employment opportunities for people who are blind or have other significant disabilities by procuring Federal contracts for goods and services. Headquartered in Vienna, Va., NISH supports a network of more than 1,200 NPAs as well as Federal customers by providing legislative and regulatory assistance, communications and public relations materials, information technology support, engineering and technical assistance, and extensive professional training needed for successful contract management.
Providing employment opportunities to more than 50,000 people, the AbilityOne® Program is the largest single source of employment for people who are blind or have other significant disabilities in the United States. More than 600 participating nonprofit organizations employ these individuals and provide quality goods and services to the Federal Government at a fair market price. The AbilityOne Program is administered by the U.S. AbilityOne Commission (www.abilityone.gov), an independent Federal agency, with assistance from National Industries for the Blind (NIB, www.nib.org) and NISH -- Creating Employment Opportunities for People with Significant Disabilities (www.nish.org).
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