140 locations across U.S. provide jobs for 45,000 employees who are blind or have disabilities.
National Industries for the Blind (NIB) is launching a nationwide celebration honoring the 15th anniversary of the AbilityOne Base Supply Center (BSC) program which provides mission support at 140 U.S. military bases and federal agencies nationwide.
"BSC stores are directly responsible for the employment of more than 300 Americans who are blind or have other severe disabilities, which is what our mission is all about," said Kevin A. Lynch, president and CEO, NIB. "BSC sales provide jobs and career advancement for the 45,000 people working as part of the AbilityOne procurement program to provide products and services to the federal government and our military."
These employees produce and ship products, provide services and staff the BSCs. Additionally, service-disabled veterans and military dependents have the opportunity to join the AbilityOne team, where they continue to play a valuable role in the military communities that are significant to their lives.
The first BSC was opened in October, 1995, at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, by LC Industries, an NIB associated agency. Now there are 140 locations on military bases and in federal buildings in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
"On behalf of the AbilityOne Program, I congratulate National Industries for the Blind for 15 years of Base Supply Center excellence," said Andrew D. Houghton, Chairperson of the Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled, the federal agency which administers the AbilityOne Program. "We are pleased to provide quality employment opportunities for people who are blind or have other significant disabilities while meeting federal customers' needs through on-site retail operations."
Eight cornerstone 15th anniversary events will be held at Army, Navy, Marine and Air Force bases throughout the country. Other dozens of local events will be held at other BSC stores.
The event sites include:
August 18 - Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado
August 26 - Fort Knox, Kentucky
August 31 - Luke Air Force Base, Arizona
September 1 - Naval Station Great Lakes, Illinois
September 8 - Fort Detrick, Maryland (tentative)
September 24 - Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina
October 14 - Fort Bragg, North Carolina
October 20 - Travis Air Force Base, California
"The success of the AbilityOne BSC program has allowed agencies to re-invest profits back into job training programs and create more employment opportunities for people who are blind," said Chuck Lange, Vice President for Base Supply Centers at IB Milwaukee.
Government customers support the employment of qualified professionals who are blind or have other severe disabilities through each purchase under the AbilityOne Program.
About the National Industries for the Blind
NIB's (www.NIB.org), mission is to enhance the opportunities for economic and personal independence of persons who are blind, primarily through creating, sustaining and improving employment. NIB and 88 associated agencies serve as the largest employer for people who are blind by the sale of SKILCRAFT® products and services through the AbilityOne Program.
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