While reviewing small business booths at the recent Northern Virginia / DC Society of American Military Engineers Small Business Conference on 25 February I was reminded of the role the AbilityOne Program can play in maintaining a diverse small business subcontracting program. Procuring goods and services through the program is mutually beneficial to all parties as it provides:
- Meaningful work to visually impaired and disabled persons. The AbilityOne Program is the single largest employer of blind or severely disabled persons. The program employs approximately 40,000 individuals through a network of 600 community based non-profit agencies.
- Competition in subcontracting. Prospective buyers are assured of fair and reasonable prices.
- Prime contractors can receive credit towards their small business goals for using the AbilityOne Program. The Defense Logistics Agency is continuously looking for innovative ways for prime contractors to engage the AbilityOne Program. In addition, contractors may also support the AbilityOne Program by purchasing office or cleaning supplies from AbilityOne-authorized commercial distributors.
- Some Federal agencies give favorable credit to offerors that formally commit to using the AbilityOne Program in their small business subcontracting plans.
The AbilityOne Program offers a variety of services for agencies and contractors to engage, such as:
- Administrative Contact Centers
- Contract Management Services
- Document Management
- Grounds Maintenance
- Secure Document Destruction
- Secure Mail/Digital Document
- Supply Chain Management
- Total Facilities Management
The AbilityOne Product Manufacturing and Development includes:
- Aircraft, Vehicle, and Electrical Equipment and Supplies
- Clothing, Textiles, and Individual Equipment (safety vests and equipment)
- Food Processing, Packaging, and Distribution
- Medical and Dental Supplies
- Office Supplies and Furnishings
The AbilityOne Program offers tremendous opportunities for individuals with disabilities, tax payers, and contractors alike. I hope this short article has shed a little light on a valuable program. If you would like more information lookup their website, call (800) 999-5963, or email.