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FALL 2012

NATIONAL NEWS FOR AbilityOne PRODUCING & AFFILIATED CRPS

EAST REGION AND NATIONAL NEWS Products Connection . . . 2 Each 14-by-33-foot LED flag rendition, located in Times Square, New York, N.Y., consists of 110,460 LEDs; 260 LEDs on each printed circuit board; 416 circuit boards; eight printed circuit boards; and 52 troughs.

Building a Legacy: The Herkimer ARC Times Square Flag Project By Joan Wishod Reardon, director, Public Relations, Herkimer ARC

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alk to Suzanne Bakiewicz, director, National Business Development, Herkimer Industries (HI) in Herkimer, N.Y., and you will quickly realize she agrees with the old adage: “if there’s a will, there’s a way.” That is… a Wil Kuhnlenz. Kuhnlenz, NISH director of Business Development, Partnership and Alliances, and the NISH team were important advocates in helping to bring together partners to complete a project to place LED American flag renditions in Times Square—all within a very tight timeline from August to December 2011.

The challenge: to provide the landmark Times Square Armed Forces Recruiting Station in New York City with a new face—a modern, more accurate portrayal of the American flag—and to increase energy efficiency of the facility. The project required electrical engineering design, creation and installation of two 14-by-33-foot LED American flags affixed to each side of the 520-square-foot walk-in station, which is the single most successful station in the country, playing an important role in the recruiting effort for the Armed Forces.

AbilityOne Design Challenge University Winners . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 East Region News . . . . . 4 Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Hosts AbilityOne Day 2012 . . 12 Challenge Enterprises Hosts Group of Inventors . . . . . . . . . 13 QWE Scoop . . . . . . . . . 15

“Wil Kuhnlenz and the entire NISH team are an outstanding group to work with,” said Bakiewicz. “Their many years of background knowledge and experience in exceeding the expectations of Federal agencies provided unparalleled support for this project.”

Chesapeake Center Increases Productivity . 17

The partners involved in the American flag project included the Herkimer ARC, AbilityOne® producing nonprofit agency Herkimer Industries, Fiberdyne Labs Inc., Intercontinental Development Corporation, NISH, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Armed Forces.

Revised 404 Collection Form Expected . . . . . . . 23

Herkimer ARC President and CEO Kevin Crosley commented, “This is a story about building a legacy. These flags are on display at one of America’s No. 1 tourist attractions.1 Nearly 38 million sightseers revel in Times Square’s bright lights each year. We were able to partner with Fiberdyne Labs, an 8(a) for-profit business that produces custom LED signs and lighting. 1

www.Forbes.com

Herkimer continues on page 11

Job Squad and Christopher O’Dell . . . 20


Products Connection 

Tell the Products Sheriff As a reminder, please use the “Tell the Products Sheriff” e-mail address: TPS@ nish.org, to obtain responses to specific Products questions and to comment on Products issues and concerns. E-mails are responded to within three business days and selected responses (minus agency and personal information) will be printed in future Products Connection issues.

Products Statistics

Oct. 1, 2011 to Aug. 15, 2012 Federal Opportunities Sole Source Notices

29

Sources Sought Notices

15

RFI 5 M&Ds Sole Source Notices

4

Sources Sought Notices

7

Commercial RFIs 2 Number of FTEs Added

167.56

Total PL Line Extensions/ Commercial/M&D 182.97 Number of Price Changes Processed 150* Number of Allocations Processed 145 *As of July 10

Cost vs. Price — What’s the Connection?

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avid A. Reed, CPA, a former government contracts auditor for 29 years, joined the NISH staff in 2011 as director of government contracting compliance. Reed, who has extensive experience in costing and Federal regulations, provided training on direct and indirect costs at the NISH National Training and Achievement Conference in May. In this article, Reed highlights growing trends related to cost and pricing in the government marketplace and the importance of understanding the relationship of cost and price.

The relationship between cost and price cannot be overstated. By definition, price = costs + profit (or net proceeds). Even in those instances where price analysis/market research is adequate to support a fair and reasonable price determination, CRPs need to ensure they are accurately identifying the actual costs to produce the product or provide the service. As government customers subject CRP proposals to more scrutiny, CRPs will be required to provide rational explanations of their cost estimates consistent with the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR). The most pertinent of these regulations can be found in FAR 15.404 and FAR 31.7/ OMB Circular A-122. FAR 15.404, Proposal Analysis, specifies the procedures to be used by government contracting personnel for analyzing proposals submitted by CRPs. With an increasing trend of using cost analysis, which entails reviewing individual cost components and profit, CRPs will be expected to not only provide more detailed cost data, but also to explain how this data complies with applicable FAR cost principles. In addition to estimating direct costs, developing and applying indirect cost rates used in the proposal will also be of particular concern. Contracting officers consider indirect costs a prime target for potential price reductions, which means CRPs should understand exactly which costs are truly indirect, and how these costs

2  •  Fall 2012  •  PRODUCTS CONNECTION  •  CRP Connection

should be effectively managed and controlled if they have any hope of appropriately recovering them on AbilityOne® contracts. The applicable cost principles that define indirect costs and the methods for allocating them to contracts are contained in FAR 31.7/OMB Circular A-122, Cost Principles for Non-Profit Organizations. Pricing Memoranda 2 and 3, published by the U.S. AbilityOne Commission™, specifically address these cost principles. For product manufacturers, the concepts of overhead and G&A (general and administrative costs), both of which meet the definition of indirect cost, should be clearly understood. Recent experience indicates that contracting officers are asking more and more questions about proposed indirect costs and they are challenging the bases over which these costs are being allocated. CRPs have total discretion in deciding how to define and allocate indirect costs, but the selected methodologies must comply with the principles prescribed by FAR 31.7/A-122. CRPs must also recognize the importance of maintaining an accounting system that appropriately and consistently segregates direct and indirect costs, and allocates costs equitably to all benefitting contracts and functions within the organization. The AbilityOne Program is facing tremendous challenges in today’s environment of government fiscal constraints. CRPs are being asked for additional support for their proposed prices. A more in-depth understanding of the FAR cost and pricing principles is necessary to ensure CRPs are making appropriate business decisions and recognizing that negotiated AbilityOne contract prices may not allow for the recovery of all costs. For more information on direct and indirect costs and accounting system requirements, contact David Reed at dreed@nish.org or (678) 838-5407.


National Connection 

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CRP Connection  •  NATIONAL  •  Fall 2012  •  3


East Region Connection

News From the NISH East Region

Executive Director’s Note

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recently returned from a trip to Disney World. While I was waiting for my family to wade through an extensive line on a ride, I decided to take a walk and inquire about accommodations at the park for individuals with significant disabilities. As I walked and actively looked, I observed individuals with disabilities working in many positions throughout the park (information booths, concessions, time share sales, etc…). I was pleased to hear since 1987 Disney has published an annual Disney Disabled Guests Guide Book, and the 2011 edition changed to people first language as the Guide For Guests With Disabilities. Yet, this article is not a commercial for the “Mouse;” it really is about providing examples of how far we have advanced as a society with accommo-

dations and employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Although some days it is evident how far we still have to go, people with significant disabilities are doing amazing things on the job each and every day.

Business Development Director Becky Wright Brizee is often quoted as saying, “The AbilityOne® Program is not your father’s Oldsmobile.” Essentially she is saying people with significant disabilities are successfully performing in fields years ago people may have never dreamed or imagined. As most of you know, NISH established a Total Facilities Management program office to manage the 46 contracts we currently have employing over 1,500 full-time equivalents (FTEs) and totaling over $184 million. Most of the work is performed on military installations; however, Federal campuses and individual buildings are also included in this expanding line of business. These

4  •  Fall 2012  •  EAST REGION  •  CRP Connection

contracts are an excellent example of how the AbilityOne Program has partnered with small and veteran-owned businesses to further the employment of people with significant disabilities. Also, this line of business affords many of our community rehabilitation programs (CRPs) the opportunity to partner with trade unions to create innovative training and mentorship programs in the plumbing and electrical fields among others. We look forward to continued growth and partnering in this versatile area as we continue to expand jobs and training opportunities. Shipboard provisioning is another innovative line of business successfully operated by five CRPs in four regions. This project is an outstanding example of how your agencies can partner to create a nationwide solution for our Federal customers. The Arc of the Virginia Peninsula is the designated Executive Director’s Note continues on page 7


East Region Connection

Didlake Partners with the Navy Exchange Command

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he Navy Exchange (NEX) of Norfolk, Va. expanded its Main Store to create the largest NEX in the world with a $25 million, three-year renovation ending in 2011. Such a major project required a flexible cleaning crew to handle operations during construction in addition to the daily foot traffic of 13,000 people. Fortunately, the Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) had an AbilityOne® contract with Didlake Inc. for custodial services.

Smith explains that during one phase of construction, more than 100 people would be working on renovations after the cleaning crew finished at 1:30 a.m. By the time the building opened at 8:30 a.m., dust had settled and the floors needed cleaning again. “We have good partners who allowed us to change our hours so that the vendors would finish their work and we could come in and clean afterward,” he said.

William Smith, project manager for Didlake’s NEXCOM contract, says it was important for the facility to be presentable throughout the renovations. “We wanted to make sure that when people came into the exchange that they thought it was awesome,” Smith said.

Doreen Davis, a Didlake custodial supervisor, says construction was a good test of the crew’s custodial abilities and flexibility, as up to one-third of the building would be sectioned off at a time. “The biggest challenge was trying to maneuver the obstacle course that the renovation caused. We constantly had to work around things,” Davis said. Other special considerations included cleaning the dust from constant drywall cutting and keeping the heavily trafficked floors in top shape.

Through the haze of dust and debris, a clean facility didn’t come naturally. Smith says it was the combined effort of Didlake and NEXCOM that resulted in a Navy Exchange that was open and presentable throughout the renovations. “The level of partnership has benefited all of us,” he said. “It has been a positive thing. NEXCOM knows that if they ask something of us, we will take care of it.”

Other key members of the Didlake crew who made renovations seem easier include lead worker Jessica Ford and custodians Kecia Wellons and Monique Dwight. Without their constant tireless efforts, the team would not have been able to keep up the appearances.

Didlake’s Norfolk Navy Exchange Team, from left to right: Cheryl Davis, lead worker; Bill Smith, project manager; Kecia Wellons, custodian; Doreen Davis, supervisor; Donald Keesea, custodian; and Monique Dwight, custodian.

The Navy Exchange officially opened its new store on June 29, 2011, with more than 180,000 square feet of retail space, including a uniform and tailor shop, a major appliance center, and a state-of-the-art lawn and garden center. Military personnel visiting the NEX can have their dry cleaning taken care of while they receive spa treatments or dine at the updated food court. “This was a major renovation that required a major team effort,” said Smith. “All of us at Didlake are proud to call ourselves members of that team.”

CRP Connection  •  EAST REGION  •  Fall 2012  •  5


East Region Connection

Job Squad Opens the Door for Contracts with the FBI, Excels at West Virginia Mail Facility

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s the first CRP to have an AbilityOne® contract with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Job Squad Incorporated (JSI), Bridgeport, W.Va., paved the way for other CRPs to contract with the Bureau at the FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. and the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va. Job Squad has custodial and grounds maintenance contracts at the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division and has a positive and supportive relationship with the Bureau. “The FBI employees were astonished when they initially saw what great workers our employees were,” says Executive Director Brenda Hellwig. “We’ve been there 18 years now, and I think our employees have done a lot to increase the community’s awareness about the capabilities of individuals with disabilities.” J ob Squad was created in 1984 as a job training

program at a comprehensive behavioral health center but was re-established in 1994 when selected as the CRP to fulfill an AbilityOne contract with the new FBI Center in Clarksburg, W.Va. In 1996, Job Squad separated from the behavioral health center and has been thriving ever since. Currently, Job Squad has about 100 employees and total annual revenue of approximately $4 million.

Besides AbilityOne contracts, Job Squad has a presort mail facility in Charleston, W.Va., where the CRP provides automated mail services through West Virginia’s State Use Program. Individuals with disabilities who work at JSI Presort Mail are mail clerks, machine operators, quality control monitors and driver’s assistants. Two years ago, Job Squad formed an innovative agreement with a former competitor and relocated its mail business to the former competitor’s automated mail facility. Both companies maintain their separate corporate form and identity but share space and equipment, allowing them to increase cost-savings and expand mail operations. One of the outcomes of this conversion to a “business within a business” is that Job Squad employees share work space with individuals who do not have disabilities. Job Squad’s cutting-edge Community Economic Development Program provides services that include Social Security benefits analysis and planning, discovery, job matching and analysis, person-centered job development, support with interest-based negotiations, and facilitating natural workplace supports. Job Squad’s career counselors spend time with job seekers in the community and assist them in exploring potential career options with the goal of finding a job match that is a good fit for the job seeker. The positive outcomes of these services are wage jobs, smallbusiness ownership, or both.

Norman Tate buffs the floors. Larry Thompson, grounds maintenance employee, mows lawn at CJIS in Clarksburg, W.Va.

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Troy Hill and Mike Perperas, custodians at CJIS, check the schedule.


East Region Connection

ISO 9001: 2008 Registration Awarded to Group Home Foundation Inc.

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hile customers were not requiring that Group Home Foundation Inc. be ISO 9001 certified, it became clear that most were expecting their suppliers to be registered. Group Home Foundation is a manufacturer whose primary line of business is the production of garments designed to protect military personnel during combat situations involving the use of chemical and/or biological agents. As a result, it is important that the customer and end user of products have confidence that the garments were manufactured under the highest quality standards.

After developing, implementing and utilizing an ISO 9001 compliant quality system for several years, the management team at Group Home Foundation concluded the next logical step was to complete the ISO 9001: 2008 registration process. In early 2011, following a quality system gap analysis by one of the NISH quality team members, a consultant helped review the existing system, made system change recommendations, and provided some staff training regarding the ISO standard and internal audit processes. The goal was to successfully complete the ISO 9001 registration process by the end of 2011.

Director’s Note continued from page 4

prime contractor with CW Resources of Connecticut, Challenge Enterprises of Florida, The Northwest Center of Washington state and PRIDE Industries of California performing services on six designated ports on the East and West coasts employing on a part- or full-time basis in excess of 250 individuals with significant disabilities, including wounded warriors. A few months ago, I had the pleasure of visiting Norfolk, Va. with The Arc to tour the shipboard provisioning operation, which employs 67 individuals working approximately 9,000 hours a month. As I walked onto the aircraft carrier, I was in awe by the sheer size of this floating city. I was further amazed

After the team spent several days with the consultant during the first few months of the year, in mid-2011, Group Home Foundation scheduled a pre-assessment audit of its quality management system by an auditor from National Quality Assurance, USA (NQA, USA). The purpose was twofold: one, to give the team and employees some experience with the audit process; two, to get a comprehensive review of the quality management system prior to the formal registration audit from the perspective of an outside auditor. With the successful completion of the pre-assessment audit, the formal Stage I and II audits were scheduled, resulting in a successful completion and ISO 9001: 2008 registration received on Dec. 2, 2011. ISO 9001 is an international quality management system standard that specifies requirements within which an organization demonstrates its ability to consistently provide product or service to meet customer and legal requirements, enhancing customer satisfaction and opening the way to continual improvement. The requirements are intended to be applicable to all organizations, regardless of type, size or product/service provided.

when I met The Arc’s employees at their morning briefing to prepare for the day’s loading. The coordination and preparation is an exact science, which if completed incorrectly, could result in a shortage of supplies while out at sea. Fortunately, this has never happened and the U.S. Navy’s InterService Supply Support Operations Program and Fleet Industrial Supply Center Jacksonville Contracting have stated they are very satisfied with the AbilityOne Program performance.

would not be earning an average of $16 per hour, have health benefits and feel the self-respect derived from earning a paycheck and providing a critical service to our warfighters.

I would like to send out a huge thank you to all of the agencies involved. Without your willingness to partner and share best practices, as well as patience in navigating very complex security requirements, 250 plus individuals with significant disabilities

I have provided just two examples of lines of business the naysayers said people with disabilities could never do. Well, guess what? We are not only performing but excelling. We in the East Region and NISH as a whole will continue to partner with you all to develop new and innovative opportunities and focus on the ability part of the word disability. In closing, please remember the East NCWC is in Arlington, Va. this year on Nov. 7–9. Hope to see you there! Best Regards, Joe Diaz

CRP Connection  •  EAST REGION  •  Fall 2012  •  7


East Region Connection

Managing Quality in Performance-Based Contracts

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here are three key groups involved in managing quality in your performance-based service contract: government personnel, tenants of the facility and your project team. Each has a significant yet different role.

The government personnel have the responsibility for quality assurance. Quality assurance is the process of making certain that your team delivers the level of service spelled out in the contract; making certain that your team is faithfully executing the technical, quality, safety and other plans you submit. This has always been the government role in managing quality. Under Performance Based Service Contracting (PBSC), however, there is a shift in the tactics being applied to the task. Under specifications-based contracts, the government’s surveillance usually focuses on how well you performed the task. The Quality Assurance Evaluator (QAE) would inspect the restrooms, for instance. Under PBSC, QAEs spend more time inspecting your Quality Control System. They become more like quality auditors. If

a good quality control plan is in place, government representatives should be able to faithfully discharge their responsibilities while seldom physically visiting the site. They should be able to check your records and reports and know the service delivery level. In fact, in some agencies the number of QAEs is being significantly reduced because of this shift. The second key group is the facility tenants. There is an increasing role for tenants in managing quality in a performance-based environment. Tenant feedback becomes the basis for ultimately evaluating project performance. This is a major shift in emphasis. Of course, the third major group is your team. You are contractually responsible for quality control as laid out in your plan. In addition, if the AbilityOne® Program is to remain competitive and stay a supplier of choice, your quality effort must include a systematic approach to continuous improvement, ever striving to improve the level of service while reducing cost to the government.

Citizens Advocates Inc. Enters Collaborative Commercial Partnership

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hen the newly constructed Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) stations opened along the Canadian border in May 2012, Citizens Advocates began providing custodial and grounds maintenance services to the facilities. Their presence as an AbilityOne community rehabilitation program (CRP) in Malone, N.Y. paves the way for collaborative partnerships.

When CBP decided to construct new border stations at Cannons Corner and Churubusco, AMEC/ NG&G, the commercial facilities company hired to manage those stations nationwide, reached out to NISH to learn more about AbilityOne. The East Region’s North Team Leader Adam Capers and Project Manager Rosalinde Harper brought the commercial facilities company and CRP together to craft an agreement so that custodial and grounds maintenance services provided at the old facilities could transfer to the new properties.

8  •  Fall 2012  •  EAST REGION  •  CRP Connection

The new border stations are double the size of the previous locations and, as a result of newly negotiated agreements, will continue to offer people with significant disabilities the opportunity to achieve independence through work. Facilities Manager Scott Paulin says, “I see the value in maintaining and working with AbilityOne to provide services to these stations and other properties we have been asked to manage.” He also expressed a desire to duplicate the partnership nationwide at other border facilities expected to come on line throughout 2012. This collaboration has resulted in a Sources Sought Notice issued to create additional partnerships. It is also aligned with the NISH strategic plan to “develop innovative and diverse employment solutions” in the commercial marketplace. CRPs can contact Melissa McKenzie, National Business Development, at (703) 855-5837 for more information.


East Region Connection

Contract Management Support Services Benefit Civilian Agencies in NISH East Region

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fairly new line of business within the AbilityOne® Program is providing greatly needed support to Federal contracting offices and returning dollars in unused contract funds to the U.S. Treasury Department. Contract Management Support (CMS) Services started with a memorandum of understanding between NISH and NIB in conjunction with the initiative between the Department of Defense and the AbilityOne Program, requiring all agencies to outsource contract closeout services to AbilityOne. CMS contract monies were set aside for Department of Defense agency use and were quickly consumed because of the severe need for CMS services. CMS provides an opportunity for the employment of wounded warriors and veterans with disabilities. It also provides a stepping stone in the advancement/promotion of individuals with significant disabilities.

Contracting staff take on tremendous workload because of the shortage of contracting personnel due to retirement and/or attrition. In the next 10 years, the critical shortage is expected to climb, focusing the work priority on issuing new contracts and causing

a backlog of some post-award contracting functions such as contract closeout. Now is the time for the AbilityOne Program and NISH to take this on and educate contracting staff that we can help lower the stress of work responsibilities by providing contract closeout service. Cheri Pierce, contract management services senior project manager, and Evelyn Kaiser, business development manager, are available to work with East Region Federal agencies that are interested in more information about this evolving service. When CMS started with the NIB/NISH partnership, a Sources Sought Notice was published to NISH’s network of AbilityOne vendors. Each vendor must meet certain requirements. Be on the lookout for the next Sources Sought Notice. For information, contact Cheri Pierce at cpierce@nish.org or Evelyn Kaiser at ekaiser@nish.org.

Implementing an ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management System (QMS)

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any organizations are beginning to express an interest in becoming either ISO 9001:2008 compliant (QMS system fully compliant to standard) or registered (QMS system certified by third party registrar). One of the major pressing concerns when considering such an undertaking is “How long does it take?” While this question will vary depending on the maturity of your existing quality program, the size of your organization and complexity of the processes; there are some key steps all organizations should take to successfully, effectively and efficiently implement an ISO compliant or registered QMS.

steps will fail. Evidence of their commitment can be shown by communicating to the entire organization from the very beginning what the initiative is and why it is important to the organization as well as to each employee. Continual communication of the progress of the implementation is also essential, so employees understand that the initiative is not just another “flavor of the month.” Also, top management will want to create an environment that encourages the involvement of people and by providing the resources needed to develop and implement the QMS.

Step 1: Demonstrate top management commitment

Step 2: Establish an implementation team

Top management’s demonstrated commitment is the No. 1 step to any quality initiative, without which all subsequent

ISO is implemented by people and is not an exercise in documentation or paperwork. Therefore an implementation team and Management Representative (MR) will

need to be established at the onset. Members should include representation from across the organization. Also, top management will need to give evidence of their full support of the team, including the MR’s authority for spearheading the project, though they may not have direct responsibility for the key processes/functions/ departments that will be involved in implementing the QMS. Step 3: Start an ISO 9001 awareness program and provide appropriate training

Employees will want to know the WIIFM (“what’s in it for me”) of the initiative, so an awareness program that shares the benefits and expectations of an ISO QMS will breed cooperation and support—as ISO9001:2008 continues on page 10

CRP Connection  •  EAST REGION  •  Fall 2012  •  9


East Region Connection ISO9001:2008 continued from page 9

Step 6: Develop QMS processes, documentation and document control system

opposed to resistance—from the very beginning. Varied training that is appropriate for different categories of employees is essential to promoting ISO awareness. Training should include the overall basics of the ISO standard and QMS, expected changes (including cultural) as well as a how-to on writing procedures, conducting audits, measuring processes and root cause analysis for continuous improvement.

ISO 9001:2008 is a process-based approach to managing an organization’s entire system of processes. It is a requirement of the standard that you “identify the processes needed for your QMS and determine the sequence and interaction of these processes as a system.” This can be done in several different manners including matrixes, diagrams, bulleted list, etc. There’s also a need for a quality manual, quality policy, quality objectives, six required procedures and any additional procedures an organization finds necessary for the consistent operation of its QMS. The document control system is one of the required procedures and simply means a way of managing the creation, approval, distribution, revision, storage and disposal of your QMS documentation.

Step 4: Create a documented implementation plan

Implementation is a project, so the implementation team should treat it as such by beginning with an implementation project plan. Though this doesn’t call for a team to be certified in project management, a fairly detailed plan is important. The plan, if done correctly, will help all involved realize that this is not merely an exercise in paper but will entail an overall cultural change to the organization, which takes time. The plan should include such things as: pertinent sections of the ISO standard; processes identification and development; conducting gap analysis of current system; identification and development of necessary procedures/work instructions; persons or teams responsible for processes and procedures, required training and resources, approval required, estimated completion dates, and scheduling of management reviews and internal audits. Step 5: Conduct a gap analysis of the current quality system

The organization must have a clear understanding of what they currently have in place, as ISO is not asking you to “re-invent the wheel.” Most organizations are surprised to find that they already have 75 percent to 80 percent of the requirements already in place. ISO is essentially a business management system that provides the framework for the organization’s established processes that are currently keeping them in business. It’s all about what makes good business sense. Once you have a full understanding of what already exists, you can tweak your project plan accordingly to fulfill the remaining requirements of the standard.

Step 7: Implement the QMS

More than likely an organization will be implementing its QMS as it develops the processes and supporting documentation. The implementation progress should be appropriately monitored to ensure its being done so it is effective and in conformance to the standard. Step 8: Perform internal quality audits (process assessments)

Internal audits (or process assessments) should be conducted as the implementation process is phased into place and as a requirement of the standard will be an ongoing part of your QMS after it has been established. The process assessments will aid in monitoring the progress of the project including identifying additional areas for improvement and necessary adjustments to the project plan. Step 9: Perform management review

ISO 9001:2008 has specific required inputs and outputs of management review and should be an integral part of your project plan. They are conducted to ensure the continuing stability, adequacy and effectiveness of your QMS. The review should also address any adjustments needed to the implementation project plan, especially major milestones in

10  •  Fall 2012  •  EAST REGION  •  CRP Connection

jeopardy of being missed, assessment of top management’s continued commitment including availability of resources, and the continued involved of team members. Step 10: Pre-assessment, certification and registration

Many organizations’ primary goal is to become fully compliant to the ISO standard, alleviating the expense for registration. However, for those organizations whose plans are to become ISO registered, a pre-assessment audit should be conducted prior to bringing in a certification agency for formal registration application. This will provide a degree of confidence for the third-party registration audit. The certification agency will first conduct an audit of your QMS documentation to establish if it conforms and in turn warrants an on-site audit. If your system is found to be in compliance with the ISO standard, a registration certificate will be given, normally for a period of three years, during which time periodic surveillance audits will be conducted to ensure the continued satisfactory operation of your QMS. Hopefully this provides a clearer understanding of the journey an organization will be undertaking should they decide to become ISO 9001:2008 compliant or certified. This should also shed light on the fact that this is an undertaking that will take time, at least eight to 10 months depending on the current state of your quality system, and is not merely an exercise in paper. It will entail a cultural change for the better, one that continually improves on providing customer satisfaction. For more information, contact Stephanie Sabra, NISH East Region senior quality manager, ASQ-CMQ/OE, at ssabra@nish.org or (703) 584-3958.

NISH Academy Training ISO 9001:2008 A Roadmap for Successful Implementation Dec. 12–13 Orlando, FL


National Connection 

Markus Irvine, one of the three veterans with disabilities who worked on the LED project, was inspired by his work on the LED panels and circuitry during the creation and construction of the flags. He has since enrolled in an electrical engineering program at a local college to continue developing his skills in this field.

Herkimer continued from page 1

The project employed six people with disabilities, including three veterans. The flags were fabricated with materials made in the United States—many from the state of New York. This venture is a good illustration of a collaboration that creates partnerships and employment and honors our nation’s Armed Forces. When you put all these facets together, you have a very special project.” Markus Irvine, one of the three veterans with disabilities who worked on the project, said, “As a veteran, I feel great pride in this project, and I hope it brings pride to the people who see it. Someday, while walking through Times Square with my two daughters and son, I’ll show them the American flags and say, ‘Daddy helped to build these.’ I know they’ll be proud.” While Fiberdyne Labs spearheaded the design and engineering for the project,

Herkimer Industries also provided project management, de-installation at the New York City site, fabrication, installation and testing, and final site cleanup. People with disabilities were also instrumental in the success of the project, performing cutting and assembly of wiring harnesses for each flag, which consists of 110,460 LEDs per flag; 260 LEDs on each printed circuit board; 416 circuit boards on each flag; eight printed circuit boards; and 52 troughs per flag. Flag creation was performed at Herkimer Industries and the Fiberdyne manufacturing plant in Frankfort, N.Y. Veterans also assisted with the onsite fabrication, assembly and material handling in New York City. Some of these tasks included disassembly and removal of existing fluorescent bulbs, ballasts and components; assembly and installation of wiring and conduits to the LED units from the provided electrical panels; installation of

the LED systems on ledges/trays that match the stainless steel interior; and testing and site cleaning services. “Herkimer Industries and Fiberdyne Labs make a great team,” Crosley said. “We finished and installed the project ahead of schedule. The building and installation of the Times Square flags has become the single most exciting project we’ve worked on in the Herkimer ARC’s history. I think the legacy of the flags will carry on for many years to come, and this project will lead us to additional meaningful work opportunities for the people we support.”

CRP Connection  •  NATIONAL  •  Fall 2012  •  11


National Connection 

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Hosts AbilityOne Day 2012

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ollaboration was the word of the day on April 16 at the first-ever WrightPatterson Air Force Base AbilityOne® Day. The Enterprise Sourcing Group (ESG), NISH and NIB hosted a one-day training conference to provide government acquisition personnel insight into the AbilityOne Program and display the diverse capabilities of the community rehabilitation program (CRP) community. Carl Shofner, director, ESG, Air Force Materiel Command and Dr. Steve Butler, executive director, Air Force Materiel Command, kicked off the day’s events with words of support for this inaugural event and asked the audience to embrace the opportunity to learn more about AbilityOne and how to collaborate with CRPs on future contract opportunities. The ESG is responsible for strategically sourcing goods and services throughout 71 installations. Marie McManus, Air Force key account manager, NISH, was instrumental in building this relationship and opening new doors for the AbilityOne Program at WrightPatterson.

A highlight of this event was Nathan Short sharing his story with the participants. Short is a wounded warrior and a member of NISH’s Speakers Bureau. Short was injured while on active duty in Iraq. His heroic story touched the individuals in the room as they listened to him and followed his journey. Short shared how difficult it was for him after returning home on a medical discharge. Fortunately, through the AbilityOne Program, he found himself and learned to utilize the skills acquired in the military. Short discussed his experi-

The training sessions focused on the benefits of partnering with the AbilityOne Program and clearing up any misconceptions people may have about the Program. Bob Chamberlin, president and CEO of NISH, and Scottie Knott, chief operating officer, NIB, joined Zeich on a senior leader panel to field questions from the contracting personnel. This session was received extremely well as it sparked great conversation and created a safe environment to discuss important topics and share best practices.

Nearly 200 people attended the training and exhibit show. Along with the training session, 18 CRPs hosted booths in the exhibit area displaying their At the first Wright-Patterson AFB AbilityOne Day, 18 CRPs hosted booths in the exhibit area, displaying their capabilities in various product capabilities in various product and service lines of business. and service lines of business. The session attendees took full advantage of the opportunity to tour the The day wrapped up with guided tours of ences working for PCSI on its Tinker Air booths and interact with the CRPs. It was local CRPs for interested attendees. This Force Base and his promotion to quality a great way to expose individuals to the was a great opportunity for people to see assurance manager. Many individuals diversity of the AbilityOne CRP network firsthand individuals with disabilities at commented on Short’s speech as it truly and highlight the abilities of people with work. Goodwill Easter Seals of the Miami displayed the success and purpose of the disabilities. Kimberly Zeich, deputy Valley, TAC Industries, Greene, Inc. and AbilityOne Program to provide products executive director of the U.S. AbilityOne Cincinnati Association for the Blind and Commission™, provided a general overview and services for Federal customers while Visually Impaired all hosted tours at their building integrity for veterans and others of the AbilityOne Program and how facilities. This inaugural event has paved the with significant disabilities through government personnel can benefit from way for future collaboration and partnering employment opportunities. working with CRPs in the program. activities.

12  •  Fall 2012  •  NATIONAL  •  CRP Connection


National Connection 

Challenge Enterprises Hosts Group of Inventors

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hallenge Enterprises of North Florida Inc. recently hosted a meeting of the North Florida Inventors and Innovators Group. Formed in 2010 and chaired by Bob Hawkinson, vice president of TLC Inc., the group’s membership has grown to more than 70 entrepreneurs, inventors and engineers who meet monthly to exchange ideas and develop new product solutions ranging from marketing to production.

“Challenge Enterprises of North Florida implemented an extraordinarily creative idea by inviting a group of inventors to their facility,” said Dana Ferguson, senior team manager for NISH Products in the NISH South Region and key speaker at the event. Attendees of this out-of-the-box meeting learned about the CRP’s capabilities and core competencies, as well as about each other’s needs. The group also was interested in learning about the AbilityOne® Program and how it works. As expected, the inventors group presented itself as an enormous opportunity for new commercial manufacturing jobs. The number of products this group had patented and were ready to put on the market was remarkable. “You could feel the energy in the warehouse with this dynamic group of visionaries,” said Nancy Keating, CEO of Challenge Enterprises of North Florida. Many members had been pursuing the production of their products for many years, and some products were already in the marketplace and needing additional assistance in manufacturing. Hawkinson, the group’s founder, stated, “The fact that Challenge Enterprises is willing to work with people and go through the bumps in the road to get to where they are going is a strong suit.” “A lot of people have ideas but don’t know what to do with them,” Hawkinson added, “and that’s what this group is about.” Based in Jacksonville, Fla., North Florida Inventors and Innovators Group meets once a month, taking tours of other plants and bringing in guest speakers to give more insight to their members. Entrepreneurs come together to find connections, share resources and exchange ideas. “This group was able to see firsthand the capabilities of Challenge Enterprises and make initial determinations on how they could partner to manufacture, assemble or package their products. Reaction to the event has been very positive, and it appears that many people with significant disabilities may soon have additional opportunities for employment as these ideas turn into projects,” said Ferguson.

Katie Vineyard, COO of Challenge Enterprises, gives a tour for the North Florida Inventors and Innovators group of Challenge Enterprises’ manufacturing project for BAE Systems.

Since the initial meeting and tour, formal meetings have taken place with Solutions Unlimited, Aero-Fast Bicycle Company, Bull Gator Archeology Equipment and Weed Recede to potentially springboard into production projects. “This was a great opportunity for the private business community to partner with a NISH organization,” said Doug Conkey, chairman of the board of County Commissioners for Clay County. “The ultimate goal is to make dreams come true as NISH helps provide opportunities through organizations like Challenge Enterprises to get innovative products into the Federal marketplace. The biggest highlight of the day is that this process provides enhanced opportunities for a workforce with disabilities to get meaningful employment. This is truly a win-win situation.” If your agency would like more information about how to reach your local Inventors Group, contact United Inventors Association of USA or visit the organization’s website at www.uiausa.org.

CRP Connection  •  NATIONAL  •  Fall 2012  •  13


National Connection 

QWE Scoop A Quarterly Message

NISH Modifies Criteria for Annual CRP Certificate of Achievement NISH modified the criteria for the annual CRP Certificate of Achievement to Jan Williams, QWE Director include participation in the Employee Research System (ERS) and the Quality Work Environment (QWE) initiative. This change is already in effect and will impact the certificates issued this fall. A summary of the Certificate, the ERS and QWE initiatives, and supports available to begin participation will be addressed in this article. The Certificate of Achievement is a way for NISH to recognize CRP excellence in performance. Bob Chamberlin, NISH president and CEO, personally signs each Certificate of Achievement and he feels strongly that the Certificate of Achievement reflects a sign of excellence and remains relevant to the current environment and reflective of the most significant developments in the AbilityOne® arena. The additional requirements for participation in ERS and QWE are indicative of the importance of those two initiatives and of the forward thinking of CRPs that are going above and beyond to truly demonstrate excellence in their operations. ERS is a database where CRPs submit employee level payroll data. It has already provided valuable information that was not available prior to its formation. Before ERS, NISH relied on anecdotal data, but now there is statistically significant data about AbilityOne employees to support those anecdotes. Having accurate

information is critical to educate the public and Members of Congress on the benefits and scope of the program. QWE is an initiative created by the U.S. AbilityOne Commission™ (The Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled operates as the U.S. AbilityOne Commission) and one that NISH wholeheartedly supports. By implementing QWE, a CRP takes an extra step to systematically approach the issues surrounding employees in the AbilityOne Program. QWE is simply a goal setting process and CRPs decide what goals they want to implement. Before October 2011, the Certificate of Achievement was based on agency ratio, satisfactory performance, on-time deliveries, timely submission of the Quarterly Employment Report and annual form 404 report, and timely payment of commissions. CRPs now have to also meet the criteria for ERS and QWE participation. To meet the ERS criterion, CRPs must be signed up to participate and submit data for at least two quarters during the fiscal year. This requirement applies to CRPs with greater than 50 AbilityOne employees performing direct labor. To meet the QWE criterion, CRPs must be signed up to implement the initiative, have completed their self-assessment and submitted a Strategic Action Plan. This requirement applies to CRPs with greater than 25 AbilityOne employees performing direct labor.

QWE Scoop continues on page 16

CRP Connection  •  NATIONAL  •  Fall 2012  •  15


National Connection  QWE Scoop continued from page 15

Information about ERS and QWE has been shared in a variety of formats including in-person trainings, the ERS data workgroup, webinars, the NISH annual conference, and the regional NCWC conferences, to name a few. In light of the changes to the Certificate of Achievement, a joint ERS and QWE “traveling roadshow” will be done at locations across the country so the information about how to participate will be brought “to a neighborhood near you.” These sessions will be more than presentations;

Sizzlin’ CRPs The following CRPs recently completed their QWE self-assessment: Asian Rehabilitation Services, Inc. Los Angeles, Calif.

Fedcap Rehabilitation Services, Inc. New York, N.Y.

ASPIRO, Inc. Green Bay, Wis.

Foothill Vocational Opportunities Pasadena, Calif.

Bridges BTC, Inc. Rockledge, Fla. Challenge Enterprises of North Florida, Inc. Green Cove Springs, Fla. Coastal Enterprises of Jacksonville, Inc. Jacksonville, N.C. DART Ridgecrest, Calif. Davis Memorial Goodwill Industries Washington, D.C.

Garten Services, Inc. Salem, Ore. Goodwill Community Services, Inc. Phoenix, Ariz. Goodwill Industries of Kentucky Louisville, Ky. Goodwill Industries of South Florida, Inc. Miami, Fla. Goodwill Industries of South Texas Corpus Christi, Texas

16  •  Fall 2012  •  NATIONAL  •  CRP Connection

Goodwill Industries of Southern California Panorama City, Calif.

CRPs will be able to talk to other CRPs that participate in ERS and QWE. The traveling roadshow is in development. Once identified, dates and locations will be posted to the Institute for Economic Empowerment’s website. For more information on ERS and QWE, visit www.instituteforempowerment.org.

Lincoln Training Center South El Monte, Calif.

Seneca-Cayuga Arc Waterloo, N.Y.

MacDonald Training Center, Inc. Tampa, Fla.

Shasta County Opportunity Center Redding, Calif.

Navigations, Inc. Battle Creek, Mich.

Skils’kin Spokane, Wash.

Northwest Center Seattle, Wash.

Skookum Bremerton, Wash.

On Our Own Services, Inc. Houston, Texas

STEPS Farmville, Va.

Helena Industries Helena, Mont.

Peninsula Services Bremerton, Wash.

SVRC Industries, Inc. Saginaw, Mich.

J.P. Industries, Inc. Tucson, Ariz.

Pueblo Diversified Industries, Inc. Pueblo, Colo.

Tehama County Opportunity Center, Inc. Red Bluff, Calif.

Lake Region Corp. Devils Lake, N.D.

Rappahannock Goodwill Industries, Inc. Fredericksburg, Va.

The Arc of Hilo Hilo, Hawaii

LifeROOTS Albuquerque, N.M.

Rauch New Albany, Ind.

Lillie Rice Center, Inc. Walla Walla, Wash.

San Diego Outsourcing Systems, Inc. San Diego, Calif.

Goodwill Specialty Services, Inc. Omaha, Neb. Great Plains Enterprises, Inc. Las Vegas, Nev. Gulfstream Goodwill Industries, Inc. West Palm Beach, Fla.

Ka Lima O Maui Wailuku, Hawaii

Thomas-Grady Service Center Thomasville, Ga. UCP of Central Arkansas Little Rock, Ark. VGS, Inc. Cleveland, Ohio


National Connection 

Chesapeake Center Increases Productivity By Leslie Orndoff, www.eastonsavvy.com Article reprinted with permission from www.eastonsavvy.com.

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young woman sits down with an effusive smile. She looks slightly reluctant to begin her story, yet when she does, her smile remains bright and her confidence seems to build. “I started working at Chesapeake Center in 1996,” she begins. “I lived in the Chesapeake Center apartments and worked at Cadmus.” It wasn’t long before she met her husband, fell in love and had a baby. Her story sounds typical, even unextra– ordinary, but for the fact that she has a disability.

She struggles with both bi-polar disorder and a learning disability, which resulted in poor work performance and attendance. After the gentle encouragement and reassurance of the staff at Chesapeake Center, she has made tremendous strides in both her confidence and desire to achieve. She now attends work regularly, is on the way to owning her own home, has gotten her driver’s license and is working toward getting her GED. Hers is an inspirational story, which perhaps would have turned out differently if it weren’t for the work of this nonprofit dedicated to changing the lives of people with disabilities. Chesapeake Center is a complex of buildings that sit quiet and unassuming on Dover Street. Cars drive quickly past, occupants unaware of the large-scale operations taking place inside and the magnitude of its impact on the community. Since 1966, its main focus has been to assist individuals with disabilities reach independence through providing opportunities in employment, housing and community activities, among others. “Similar to other nonprofits, [Chesapeake Center] began when a group of concerned parents, whose children with disabilities had graduated high school, got together,” says President and CEO Donna Harrison. “At that time, people with disabilities couldn’t stay in school until they were 21, so the parents approached local store owners to see if they would be willing to offer employment.” Rowen’s Stationary was one of the first businesses to allow a small group of young adults to work, breaking down boxes and taking out the trash.

This arrangement came to the attention of Mrs. Alton Brown, a local philanthropist. “She was intrigued by the families,” continues Harrison. “She purchased the property on Dover Road, and they started approaching local businesses to see if things could be brought to the Center.” The group offered chair caning, started a toy business and did whatever odd jobs came their way. As the years passed, the state of Maryland began to fund organizations like Chesapeake Center. The support provides funds to hire staff and run vans throughout the county to pick up people and bring them to work. “We pick up people as far away as Tilghman and the borders of neighboring counties,” says Harrison. “We receive funds from Caroline and Dorchester, so we pick up people there as well.” Currently, the Center serves approximately 200 adults with various disabilities. They work at any number of tasks including: stuffing toys in bubbles for vending machines; breaking down and recycling computer hard drives; stuffing envelopes for bulk mailers; constructing crab mallets, disposable emergency stretchers called dispo-a-boards and canes with a specialized footprint. A food service area provides two meals and a snack for Center employees and sells baked goods throughout the community. Chesapeake Center manages three recycling sites throughout Talbot County and sells the aluminum cans collected from not only its property, but also from the adjacent site. “Nothing is wasted here,” says Vocational Director Lisa Korell. “We have an outlet for everything.” One of the largest ongoing jobs is a U.S. Navy contract, cutting and sewing special cleaning cloths. The sound of the room in which the cleaning cloths are made is a noisy symphony of sewing machines and specialized cutting equipment. Here a large workforce cuts, sews, trims and inspects cloths destined for Navy subs and ships all over the world. “In the 10 years I’ve worked as vocational director, we’ve only had one quality control issue,” says Korell. It is a source of pride as well as a testament to the facility itself. Given the opportunity, people with disabilities flourish and are as productive, if not more than, their counterparts without disabilities. Chesapeake Center continues on page 18 CRP Connection  •  NATIONAL  •  Fall 2012  •  17


National Connection  Chesapeake Center continued from page 17

“The Chesapeake Center feels like a family environment,” says the young woman with bi-polar disorder. Her life’s course was changed because of the nonprofit staff’s efforts. Had it not been for that family style support and gentle pressure to push herself to achieve, her story—along with the stories of many others—would have had less than a happy ending.

© 2012 Lockheed Martin Corporation

There are some who come to Chesapeake Center not to work, but to learn valuable life skills and make friends through the Day Habilitation Program. “Some people don’t want to work a full day, and that’s fine,” continues Korell. “They’ll work a half day then come and relax or do a craft.” Others may spend the entire day there, staying occupied, engaged, earning a sense of accomplishment. Often times those who start in the Day Habilitation Program move on to work in the facility.

Chesapeake Center not only employs people on site, but also works to place people in the community. “When we approach potential employers,” says Korell, “we like to focus on what they can do, not what they can’t.” Currently, five people from the Center are placed in jobs throughout the community.

THERE ARE NO LIMITS TO

ACHIEVEMENT At Lockheed Martin, we take on some of the most complex challenges imaginable. So we depend on a diverse supplier base to provide the widest range of abilities and perspectives. The AbilityOne∏ Program gives us access to a wealth of talent, and helps us deliver innovative solutions to our customers. www.lockheedmartin.com

18  •  Fall 2012  •  NATIONAL  •  CRP Connection


National Connection 

Job Squad and Christopher O’Dell: Succeeding with the Ticket to Work Program

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hen Christopher O’Dell finished high school in rural West Virginia, he looked forward to gaining independence and having a job of his own. But, he was also apprehensive about an unknown future. O’Dell worried that with a disability, a special education certificate and little work experience, his employment prospects would be limited. Still, depending on a Social Security Supplemental Security Income (SSI) check left few choices, and a need for purposeful employment ultimately led him to pursue work in spite of these concerns. “I got tired quickly of sitting at home, and even though I was nervous at first, I decided to [find help],” he says.

Courage A transition specialist at school referred O’Dell to Job Squad, an AbilityOne-producing nonprofit and provider of employment opportunities and support services for job-seekers with disabilities. When considering employment, it is important for anyone

20  •  Fall 2012  •  NATIONAL  •  CRP Connection

who receives Social Security disability benefits to consult an expert and learn how work can affect these benefits. With help from his family and a benefits counselor at Job Squad, O’Dell explored his opportunities. He learned that rules called Work Incentives make it easier for adults with disabilities to enhance their job skills through education, training and work experience, while receiving healthcare and cash benefits from Social Security. A combination of Work Learn about Work Incentives Incentives may allow O’Dell in the Social to continue receiving all or part Security Red of his SSI check while working. Book, the official guide to Work Some of these Work Incentives, Incentives. known as “Special SSI Payments for Persons Who Work,” the “Earned Income Exclusion,” “Property Essential to Self-Support,” and “Impairment Related Work Expenses” can help him receive Job Squad continues on page 22


National Connection 

Job Squad continued from page 20

some cash payments from Social Security while he tests his ability to work. In addition, Medicaid coverage can continue even if his income is too high to receive SSI cash benefits. Finally, O’Dell learned that if he stops working because of his disability within five years, Social Security may be able to start his benefits again without a new application. Because each person’s circumstances are different, it is important to understand which rules apply to your employees and what these rules will mean for benefits when working. Work Incentives supported O’Dell as he built confidence, and helped give him the courage he needed to pursue long-term employment.

Teamwork O’Dell’s counselor also told him he would be a good candidate for Social Security’s Ticket to Work Program. The Ticket Program is voluntary and exists specifically to help people with disabilities progress toward financial self-sufficiency. It is a good fit for those who would like to improve their earning potential and who are committed to preparing for long-term success in the workforce. Social Security disability beneficiaries 18 through 64 qualify. With the help of state Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agencies and specialized providers known as Employment Networks (ENs), the Ticket Program offers people with disabilities improved access to meaningful employment. Job Squad is one of over 1,000 ENs, including a number of AbilityOne® Network members, that offer a range of free employment support services, including rehabilitation, career and benefits counseling, resume writing, interview skills workshops, referral to vocational training or continuing education, job placement services, job-coaching and other types of ongoing employment supports. An EN can offer one or many of these services, and different ENs may specialize in serving select populations. Program participants may speak with several providers before finding a good match, and can choose any EN that meets their needs. As a nationally recognized leader in customized and supported employment, Job Squad was well equipped to meet O’Dell’s needs. Job Squad worked with O’Dell and his family to develop an Individual Work Plan, a roadmap to help him meet his employment goals. After assessing his skills and training potential, Job Squad placed O’Dell in a job as custodian for the Federal Bureau of Investigation

22  •  Fall 2012  •  NATIONAL  •  CRP Connection

(FBI) Criminal Justice Information System in 2008. In the early weeks of his job, O’Dell had a difficult time adjusting. He described it as “really hard work, until you get used to it.” But, Job Squad worked with him until he was comfortable in his duties and he now enjoys his routine. Individualized training, a job coach and other supports helped him become confident in his ability to succeed at work.

Promise O’Dell is conscientious in performing his five weekly shifts from 3 p.m. to midnight, and is excited about his work. According to Travis Klein, director of Human Resources at Job Squad, O’Dell often volunteered for the challenging midnight shift, and has grown as a team player. “He takes a lead in orienting new employees and strives to promote teamwork with his crew at the FBI building,” he says. FBI employees enjoy having Job Squad employees like O’Dell on site. They contribute to a positive morale, and Travis hopes that contract expansion opportunities will soon allow Job Squad to promote O’Dell into a supervisory position.

Pride O’Dell has seen tremendous improvements in his life since he decided to participate in the Ticket to Work Program. At 26, he is now a devoted father with a family of his own; proud of what his independence has allowed him to achieve. He has been selfsufficient for four years, and feels free of the limitations imposed by relying on SSI. As O’Dell talks about fishing with his son, spending time with friends and co-workers, purchasing an all-terrain vehicle, or completing payments on the car, his satisfaction with life after Social Security is clear. He looks forward to a better future for himself and his family with confidence. O’Dell is glad he decided to participate in the Ticket Program, suggesting other young people should take a chance on their future and “…go for it!” Ticket to Work and Work Incentives helped O’Dell find his path to self-sufficiency. To learn more about using Ticket to Work at your nonprofit, visit www. socialsecurity.gov/work or call the Ticket Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 866-833-2967 (TTY/TDD).


National Connection 

Revised 404 Information Collection Form Expected for Fourth Quarter FY12 As mentioned in an earlier NISH Public Policy Update and in keeping with the Paperwork Reduction Act, the U.S. AbilityOne Commission™ submitted a request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to add three new questions to the 404 data collection form and revise the certification signature block. The information will enable the Commission to accurately measure veteran participation in the AbilityOne® Program. The complete proposed form can be found on the NISH Extranet. The new questions are 6E, 7H and 7I. The CRP signature block revision clarifies that the form is subject to the False Claims Act. NISH plans to update the QER with these revisions. NISH is coordinating the requisite information technology updates with NIB and the Commission to include the additional fields/questions. Pending final approval by OMB, these revisions will go into effect Sept. 30, 2012 for FY12 data collection. Questions? Please contact ppappas@nish.org.

2012

2012 Call for Nominations will open in September.

Don’t miss out! The first 50 CRPs to nominate will receive a $200 training voucher. www.nish.org/awards

ceSS c u S All ted n A W eS Stori

CRP Connection  •  NATIONAL  •  Fall 2012  •  23


8401 Old Courthouse Road • Vienna, VA 22182

CRP Connection is published quarterly by the NISH Corporate Communications Department. To submit questions, comments or story ideas, please e-mail corpcomm@nish.org or call (571) 226-4660. To request additional copies of CRP Connection, or to add or remove your name from the CRP Connection mailing list, please e-mail corpcomm@nish.org or call (571) 226-4660.

National Connection 

NCWC Regional Conferences and CEO Forums

ing m o C n Soo

Northwest and Pacific West Region

East Region

South Central CEO Forum

South CEO Forum

North Central CEO Forum

Portland, OR Oct. 9-11, 2012

Arlington, VA Nov. 7-9, 2012

Fort Worth, TX Feb. 5-7, 2013

Tampa, FL Feb. 20-21, 2013

Coming Soon Aug. 2013

East CRP Connection Fall 2012  

CRP Connection is a quarterly newsletter designed exclusively for NISH’s community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). The publication includes...

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