This year, AbilityOne is celebrating 25 years on military bases through its Base Supply Center (BSC) program. This important initiative uses the power of AbilityOne suppliers, like IBVI, to offer mission-critical products our government and military need on base. BSCs are like any other brick-and-mortar stores, but their convenient on-base locations provide military personnel with places to purchase office, cleaning, and other supplies and have them delivered on-base or to the office that same day.
You’ve heard us talk about our 14 BSCs (and if you haven’t, you should check out this blog), but we want to highlight how, in addition to military personnel, the program helps support those who are blind or visually impaired.
More Job Opportunities
In October of 1995, the very first BSC opened its doors in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Today, there are over 150 BSCs across the country—each one helping AbilityOne provide employment opportunities for people who are blind or visually impaired. At IBVI, we are able to employ 62 employees at our 14 BSCs nationwide. In total, the AbilityOne BSC program employs approximately 45,000 people who are blind, visually impaired, or have other significant disabilities.
These employment opportunities also apply to service-disabled veterans and military dependents who can join the AbilityOne team and continue to play valuable roles in their military communities. Employees who work through the BSC program produce and ship products as well as staff the on-site stores.
Serving Those Who Serve Us
The primary purpose of a BSC is to provide customers with convenient access to thousands of SKILCRAFT® products as well as personal protective equipment (PPE), cleaning supplies, and other products—including those needed in response to COVID-19. When the government and military purchase through AbilityOne, they support the employment of qualified professionals who are blind or have other severe disabilities. In turn, by providing members of the military with products that help them serve, blind and visually impaired employees are empowered by helping serve their country as well.
All BSCs operate in partnership with National Industries for the Blind (NIB), the nation’s largest employment resource for people who are blind or visually impaired. Since 1938, NIB has enhanced both the economic and personal independence of people who are blind or visually impaired through employment opportunities. Under the SKILCRAFT brand alone, NIB and its associated agencies, including us at IBVI, supply federal customers with a selection of over 3,000 high-quality products and provide job opportunities for nearly 6,000 people who are blind or visually impaired.
To learn more about NIB and AbilityOne BSC products, please visit: https://www.nib.org/products/base-supply-centers/