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NORTH CENTRAL REGION AND NATIONAL NEWS A Message from Bob Chamberlin . . . . . . . 2 Products Connection . . . . . . . . . . . 3 North Central Region News . . . . . . . . . 4 Bureau of Engraving Launches Currency App for the Blind . . . . . 16

Georgianna Grand and Rusty Branch

QWE Infused in Gulf Coast Enterprises’ Culture


ensacola, Fla. is the home of Baptist Health Care, the largest non-government employer in the community. In 1996, Lakeview Center, a major provider of behavioral health services and its employment division, Gulf Coast Enterprises (GCE), became an affiliate of Baptist Health Care. Rich Gilmartin, President of GCE, and serving as vice president for Vocational Services for Lakeview and Baptist where he “walks the talk” from his contributions to and ongoing leadership as a member of the Quality Work Environment (QWE) Steering Committee.

As industry left Pensacola in the 90’s and job development and placement for individuals with disabilities became more challenging, GCE decided to enter the job creation business and to become the employer of choice. Today GCE has more than 1,000 AbilityOne employees in nine states and the District of Columbia. All employees are paid at least the federal minimum wage

and all employees receive a fringe benefits package at no cost to the employee. Under the leadership of Brad Weeks, Lakeviews’s director of Quality and Performance Improvement and Rusty Branch, Lakeviews’s quality specialist, the core QWE team of 13 members was established with a unique and inclusive composition of eight program managers, two human resources managers and three front line staff. The inclusion of three front line staff speaks volumes about the culture of GCE and the value it places upon the participation of its employees with disabilities. Weeks sees QWE this way, “QWE is not something in which we are engaged because it is popular among other organizations. Rather, it is consistent with our purpose and is the right thing to do for and with our people.” QWE continues on page 12

Jobs Surge in Total Facilities Management . . . . . . . . 17 NAVFAC Partnership with AbilityOne® . . . . . . 23

National Connection 

A Message from Bob Chamberlin


or ten years NISH has sponsored the AbilityOne® Network Design Challenge program, a competition for university students to develop assistive technology devices that empower people with disabilities in the workplace. I encourage all community rehabilitation programs (CRPs) to consider participating in the design challenge this year by collaborating with a local university so engineering and design students can create new assistive technologies and improve upon existing devices and systems for your employees.

Not only do these devices and systems help employees achieve their work related goals, they are also smart for your business as they typically increase overall savings for your CRP by improving output (both quality and quantity), reducing material waste and down time for your workforce. For example, this year’s First Place Award winner from Ohio University, working with SW Resources in Parkersburg, W. Va., increased productivity by 200 percent by creating a mechanical press to assemble a liquid valve used in McDonald’s Frappe dispensers.

Bob Chamberlin NISH President & CEO

And, if your agency partners with a student team that is awarded one of the top three prizes, you will receive matching cash awards of $10,000 for first place, $5,000 for second place and $3,000 for third place! To get started, contact the dean, department chair and/or instructors at the engineering department of a college or university near you. Talk to them about the AbilityOne Network Design Challenge and share materials on the design challenge with them, then schedule a time for a representative from the college to visit your CRP. You will be surprised at how interested the faculty will be to meet with you. WHY is this? Because engineering students are required to complete a design project to be eligible to graduate and many students are interested in projects that are meaningful, service oriented and community based. The design of workplace assistive technology is a perfect complement to both the school requirement and the students’ interests. I have heard from many college students that have participated in this program that they are inspired by the mission to help people with significant disabilities overcome barriers in the workplace. Look for an AbilityOne Network Design Challenge flyer coming directly to you soon by mail. For more information and to access materials to share with your local university, contact Stephanie Hurd via email at or by phone at (571) 226-4527 or visit the Web site at I hope you will take advantage of this “win-win” opportunity that helps your employees overcome productivity challenges or other barriers to employment and, at the same time, creates an avenue for college students to better understand the positive impact they can make by applying their talents and skills to the development of assistive technology!

Save the Date

AbilityOne® Communications Webinar SEPTEMBER The AbilityOne Communicators webinar entitled: Telling Your NPA’s

Story, facilitated by Lynne Harris, director, NISH Corporate Communications, is scheduled for September 15 from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. Please share this information with your Communications, Public Relations, and Marketing Communications team members. If you have questions, please contact Lynne Harris at or (571) 226-4530.

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Products Connection 

Products FY 2011 Statistics October 1, 2010 to April 27, 2011

Tell the Products Sheriff As a reminder, please use the “Tell the Products Sheriff” e-mail address:, 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.

Number of Sources Sought Notices Posted


Number of Informational Postings


Number of FTEs Added


Total PL Line Extensions/Commercial/M&D


Number of Price Changes Processed


Number of Allocations Processed


CRP Customer Satisfaction Survey Results Remain Strong N ISH conducted a follow-up survey of Products Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRPs) as part of its Voice of the Customer Program (VOC) during FY 2010. This is the fourth satisfaction survey of Products CRPs since the inception of the VOC Program in 2007. Overall satisfaction with support from NISH remained strong in FY 2010 with four out of five Products CRPs indicating that they are satisfied or very satisfied with support from NISH overall (81% top 2-box satisfaction). Although this number is down slightly from 2009 (83% top 2-box satisfaction), overall satisfaction levels of Products CRPs in 2010 are well above the levels registered when the survey was first conducted in 2007. In addition, the FY 2010 Products Customer Service Survey included responses from many more Products CRPs than in previous customer service surveys (103 in 2010 compared to 47 in 2009).

When compared to last year’s Products Customer Service Survey results, Products CRPs indicated the following areas had improved:

Areas in which survey results indicated could be enhanced were: • Providing additional business development opportunities • Providing information about AbilityOne opportunities through the Sources Sought Process. • Providing a strategic perspective on trends in government procurement National Products Operations staff is conducting follow-up research on Products CRP responses contained in the 2010 Customer Service Survey and will develop a plan to institutionalize best practices and to address any significant customer support deficiencies identified in the follow-up research. Findings from supplemental research activities and the associated plan will be communicated in future CRP Connection publications.

• Staff responsiveness • Providing assistance in developing and negotiating prices • Providing assistance in resolving problems with AbilityOne contracts • Including my CRP in discussions with the federal customer regarding AbilityOne contracts • Representing my CRP on issues brought to the Committee for Purchase

CRP Connection  •  PRODUCTS CONNECTION  •  Summer 2011  •  3

North Central Region Connection

News From the NISH North Central Region

Executive Director’s Note:


he near record high temperatures in late spring made it seem like summer arrived a month early. Now that summer is officially here, we can look back on another successful national conference that was held in Orlando, Fla. The North Central Region’s community rehabilitation program (CRP) community had nearly 100 people from 39 organizations in attendance. Many of the attendees enjoyed taking photos at the NISH North Central booth with the astronaut cut-out. The ‘space’ theme was in honor of the end of the Space Shuttle Program, headquartered in central Florida, as well as promoting the idea of exploring new frontiers within the AbilityOne® Program. The national conference was also

the venue where the Committee for Purchase’s Chairman, Andy Houghton, completed his term by announcing that the agency will have a new name in the near future.

for the first time was our very own Evelyne Villines; Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers as she recuperates from successful surgery in Iowa. We hope to see her at the NCWC in August.

The North Central Region had Five National Award recipients: William M. Usdane Award – David Ogletree, Vocational Guidance Services, Cleveland, Ohio; Milton Cohen Leadership Award – John L. Miller, Goodwill of Southeastern Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisc.; Government Award for State/ Local Officials — Rosanne Renauer, Michigan Rehabilitation Services, Lansing, Mich.; NCWC Management Excellence Award, North Central Region — Eugene Nelson, JVS Detroit, Detroit, Mich.; and Government Award for Services, Civilian — GSA Great Lakes, Ohio Region, Chicago, Ill. Missing from the National Conference

NISH also hosted the annual Grassroots Advocacy Conference in Washington, D.C. in late June. With more than 100 freshman legislators, the North Central Region had good representation from seven CRPs and their teams comprised of an AbilityOne employee with a disability and several support staff. The mission of the grassroots event is for the individuals with disabilities to promote the AbilityOne Program on Capitol Hill to their Congress members by explaining how the AbilityOne Program has impacted their lives. This event is one of my personal favorites, as many of the

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Note continues on page 5

North Central Region Connection

President Obama Appoints Carl M. La Mell to the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities


resident Barack Obama announced 15 new members appointed to the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities (PCPID). Among the 15 members is Carl M. La Mell, President and CEO of Clearbrook, a service provider for individuals with developmental disabilities in Illinois.

The PCPID provides advice to the President and to the Secretary of Health and Human Services, through the Administration on Developmental Disabilities, pertaining to programs and services for people with intellectual disabilities. “Persons with disabilities deserve the same quality of life as all other individuals,” said David A. Hansell, HHS acting assistant secretary for children and families. “I congratulate Carl M. La Mell on his appointment to the committee and I am confident that he will play an important role in making sure children and adults with intellectual disabilities have the opportunity to participate in all aspects of community life.” Since its inception, the president’s committee has led the charge to improve the lives of people with intellectual disabilities and uphold their right to independence, self-determination and full participation as productive members of society. As such, the

Note continued from page 4

folks who attend have never been to Washington, D.C., let alone flown on an airplane. It is a great experience and although I know not all of the CRPs in our Region can take the time to travel to Washington, I urge everyone to begin their own grassroots campaign with their local members of Congress. Please feel free to contact the Government Affairs

committee promotes the expansion of educational opportunities, improved employment outcomes and full access to community living, among other goals. Previously, La Mell held senior positions at Victor C. Neumann Association as Chief Financial Officer, Associate Executive Director and CEO. Most recently, he chaired the Finance Committee of the Illinois Statewide Early Intervention Task Force. La Mell is Carl M. La Mell also a member of the Illinois Association of Rehabilitation Facilities, the Illinois Department of Human Services State Task Force on Autism and the American Association of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. He is the past recipient of various distinguished awards, including the Executive of the Year Award from the Illinois Association of Rehabilitation Facilities, the Community Leader of the Year Award given by the City of Rolling Meadows and the Claude D. Pepper Distinguished Service Award. La Mell holds a B.S. from DePaul University.

Department should you have any questions or would like assistance in your grassroots efforts. We really look forward to hosting everyone August 17–19 in Chicago, Ill. at the Hotel Sax for the annual National Council of Work Centers (NCWC) North Central Region Conference. This will be the first year we add to the agenda an additional half-day of sessions. The diversity of topics that will be covered

during the conference will hopefully make everyone ‘jazzed’ about the future of the AbilityOne Program. Please contact us if you need any assistance registering for the conference or making hotel reservations. You may also find additional information in this newsletter. We look forward to seeing you in August. Warmest Regards, Chris

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North Central Region Connection

Congratulations to Frank Gidcumb! The North Central Region is pleased to announce that Charles “Frank” Gidcumb accepted the position of project manager–Call Center Services in mid-February.


idcumb has a strong background in project management, group facilitation and customer service.

Some of his previous responsibilities include project manager I (nonprofit agency development specialist) and research analyst in the NISH North Central Region. Prior to joining NISH, Gidcumb worked as an account manager at Zim-America Integrated Shipping Services Co.

Gidcumb received his B.A. in Geography from the University of Iowa. He has received both his Master of Science in Computer Information Systems and his Master of Business Administration from Elmhurst College. Frank will complete his Master’s Certificate in Project Management this fall. Please join us in congratulating Frank.


North Central Region Training Conference August 17–19, 2011 Chicago, IL


he North Central Region National Council of Work Centers (NCWC) Annual Conference will be held in downtown Chicago. This year’s event will begin in the afternoon on Wednesday, Aug. 17 and end with lunch on Friday, Aug.19.

We are happy to host the event at the Hotel Sax located within the Marina Towers and House of Blues complex, adjacent to the Chicago River and just west of the ‘Magnificent Mile’. The hotel’s address: 333 North Dearborn Street Chicago, IL 60654. To register for the conference please use the following link: If you should have any questions, please contact Darcy Hedrich of the NISH North Central office at 847-789-8435,

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North Central Region Connection

North Central Region Gets Clean With Steam


he North Central Team welcomed representatives from six local community rehabilitation programs (CRPs) in early May to the regional office for a Steamjet demonstration. North Central Business Development partnered with the National Business Development (NBD) Fleet Team to coordinate a “roadshow” for CRPs who have expressed interest in pursuing vehicle washing and wanted to see what all the buzz was about.

Nancy Yoder, North Central Business Development director, partnered with Susan Retter and John Bradford of the NBD Fleet Team to have a representative from Steamjet travel to the region for the demonstration. After the demo, the Steamjet representative joined the CRPs, along with North Central and NBD Team members, for a roundtable discussion about how to start a vehicle washing business and all the opportunities that can exist in this unique service line. The meeting was very well received by the CRPs and it was also a great opportunity for them to interact with NISH staff. The weather could not have been more perfect for such an event and several people worked on their car washing skills while testing the machine. This event brought CRPs together to learn about new initiatives and also incorporated outstanding partnering between two business units.


If your organization has news it would like to share with the North Central Region CRP community, please feel free to email the information to Frank Gidcumb at the NISH North Central office at If it is a large file (over 2MB) you can contact Frank by phone at 847-789-8424. We would love to hear from you.

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North Central Region Connection

North Central Region Hosts Luncheon at NISH National Training & Achievement Conference


hris Stream, executive director of NISH North Central Region, facilitated the “astronaut” themed luncheon in honor of the retirement of the Space Shuttle Program that calls Florida home. The National Conference was held at the Hilton Bonnet Creek in Orlando, FL, just outside of Disney World. The North Central (NC) Team wanted to make the luncheon feel like home, so the state flags from the seven states of the NC Region were hung on the walls. The NC Team also had their pictures with an astronaut cut-out posted on the wall of the luncheon conference room. Additionally, attendees were treated to some space-themed trinkets in a small goody bag at their place setting.

Stream opened the luncheon thanking the crowd for attending the luncheon and moved on to Regional staff updates. He also made note to the audience of the numerous award winners that came out of the NISH North Central Region. However, we were missing a very important award, the Evelyne Villines award winner. This year, there was not a North Central Region Villines award winner. He urged the crowd of nonprofit agencies that we need to work to avoid this from happening in the future, as Evelyne is from our region. Mitch Tomlinson, North Central Region National Council of Work Centers (NCWC) Representative took the podium to provide updates about the NCWC and to urge everyone to make the trip to Chicago in August for the annual North Central Region NCWC Conference. Mitch was followed by the highlight of the luncheon and a North Central Region tradition, the General Services Administration (GSA)/NISH Partners in Service Excellence Award and video presentation. Representatives from GSA that manage the award winning Paul Findley Federal Building and US Courthouse in Springfield, IL and the Nonprofit Agency, Challenge Unlimited, were in attendance to accept the award.

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Finally, Tom Hartigan, Senior Deputy Director, NISH North Central Region introduced the directors of the three departments of the NISH North Central Region. Robert Easton, Senior Quality Manager presented first and alerted the audience to the importance of quality not only at the start of a contract, but throughout the entire project. Fred Aske, Contract Management Director reported on important numbers that included information about our government customer, line of businesses, and comparisons to the overall NISH organization. Lastly, Nancy Yoder, Business Development Director provided updates of the current happenings in the Business Development department and future highlights with key customers. The National Conference was also special to David Ogletree of VGS, Inc. of Cleveland, OH. He was the National Usdane Award winner. He was honored in front of more than 700 people at the awards banquet with a video presentation and provided a short speech that demanded a standing ovation. Congratulations to David Ogletree.

North Central Region Connection

NCWC Recognizes Award Recipients North Central Region Management Excellence Award Eugene Nelson of Jewish Vocational Service and Community Workshop

This award recognizes an individual from within the AbilityOne® family of CRPs in each region who has demonstrated excellence in leadership in the management of a participating CRP by significantly enhancing employment opportunities for people with significant disabilities. The NCWC Regional Representatives and Executive Council review all of the nominations and make their selection based on the nominee’s contributions to empowering individuals with significant disabilities to increase their employability. Congratulations to Eugene Nelson, Jewish Vocational Service and Community Workshop, Southfield, MI for receiving the North Central Region Award!

William Usdane National Award Recipient Congratulations to David Ogletree!!!

The William Usdane Award recognizes an individual with a significant disability who has exhibited outstanding achievement and exceptional character within the AbilityOne workplace. Congratulations to David Ogletree, VGS, Inc., Cleveland, OH

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North Central Region Connection

Peckham Inc. Achieves ISO 9001:2008 Certification In Every Line of Business Lansing, MI—Peckham has achieved ISO certification for every business line (Manufacturing, Business Services, Environmental Services and Supply Chain Solutions). Peckham operates these affirmative businesses to provide paid job training opportunities for people with disabilities and other barriers to employment.

Created by the International Organization for Standardization, ISO 9001:2008 is based on eight quality management principles; customer focus, leadership, involvement of people, process approach, system approach to management, continual improvement, fact based decision-making and mutually beneficial supplier relationships.

ISO Certification is an international standard, recognized throughout the world for establishing a business management system that enhances organizational performance. Peckham believes in quality and supports an organization wide quality system, comprehensive outcome measurements, CARF accreditation and encourages staff to constantly look for, and implement, opportunities for improvements.

NSF International is an independent, not-for-profit organization, which certifies products and writes standards for food, water and consumer goods to minimize adverse health effects ( Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting public health and safety worldwide. NSF is a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Food and Water Safety and Indoor Environment.

“We continue to improve our standards of excellence and quality in all of our business processes and systems, and have been focused on achieving this certification” said Mitch Tomlinson, President & CEO, Peckham, Inc.

Peckham, Inc. is a nonprofit community vocational rehabilitation organization with 35 years of experience providing quality customer-centered services to people with disabilities and other barriers to employment. Peckham offers more than 30 different programs and services in community employment, facility-based employment, job readiness and career planning, housing, life skills and youth services. Our mission is to provide a wide range of opportunities to maximize human potential for persons striving for greater independence and self-sufficiency. We embrace collaboration, effective resource management and innovative approaches to achieve excellence.

“Achieving ISO certification in every line of business, at once for any organization, is precedent setting. ISO Certification is confirmation of our belief that a focus on quality, lifelong learning, and best practices is a vital component of our culture and how we conduct our business,” said Tomlinson.


Registered to ISO/TS 16949


Registered to ISO 9001

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National Connection 

QWE continued from page 1

these military boys who fight for us and our freedom.”

Although the QWE team identified several areas in need of improvement for GCE’s strategic plan, one major issue identified was the lack of a formal career ladder for employees in the AbilityOne program. The QWE Action Plan is “to create and maintain multiple career ladders for leadership and technical positions within GCE” and is tied to QWE Practice Guidelines 120, 210, and 220. As part of that plan, GCE will be reinventing itself as a rehabilitation provider in addition to an employment provider with the following desired outcomes:

Most important, Grand has a desire to become a supervisor and the QWE strategic plan may provide her that opportunity as job descriptions are being re-evaluated by managers and analyzed for necessary skills and knowledge training with accommodations. Supervisors will be held accountable for taking ownership of employee person-centered career path development through performance assessments and fiscal incentives. Employees that successfully complete training will be eligible for advancement.

“To create a process for career development that is understandable for our employees. Offering employees a plan to connect them to jobs they desire in the future. Sharing advancement opportunities from a GCE perspective as well as with an external focus. Shifting to a rehab provider as opposed to an employment provider. As measured by the number of promotions, position movement, positive employment outcomes (competitive employment) employee satisfaction, retention.”

One additional benefit for Grand is that she has a potential role model in another area of GCE. Karen Cowan, a former stay-at-home mom with three children, who struggled with depression, began her employment at GCE in 2004 as a general

Other project plans in year one of the two-year plan, based upon practice guidelines 160, 130, 450, and 150, include: “Research existing training content and integrate within internal solutions; Ask employees how to best communicate with them; Find opportunities for people to work elsewhere if it meets their needs.” As we all know, the words on a piece of paper are only a first step, but the realization of the goals only will be achieved if leadership and staff own them and commit to them every day. Georgianna Grand is a member of the QWE core team. She spent many hours working with Branch to complete her self assessment and was brutally honest in her responses regarding conflicts and communication as “low man on the totem pole.” A person with a chronic history of unemployment due to emotional issues, Grand has been working at GCE for more than three years in food service areas. She summed up her job saying “My work is important. I take pride in taking care of

Julius Powell

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Karen Cowan

National Connection  in two days using engineered joy stick controls. This step afforded Powell his first job and he continues working today. To fully implement its career ladder goals, GCE has identified that its staff will need further training in person-centered planning, job carving, behavioral health, and assistive technology for which they intend to request assistance from NISH. GCE will also be able to benefit from their two years of experience with Project Search services for individuals with developmental disabilities. Nick Porter, Director of Benefits and Compensation, is concerned about the financial implications of linking compensation to career mapping. He is clear that QWE is about more than dollars and that it represents a mindset. For Porter, who has an older brother with a disability, he envisions a time when the employment of individuals with disabilities is the norm and not viewed as something impressive as it is today. He wants to make a difference and is pleased with the buy in to QWE from the leaders of GCE.

Keisha Wright

custodian, working three days per week. Today she is a custodian services project manager and claims that her involvement in QWE has given her a lot of knowledge she did not have. Cowan enjoys seeing more employees become self-sufficient because they deserve that opportunity as much as anyone else.

Nick Porter

The plan also includes reaching out to NISH for training and technical assistance expertise in a variety of areas available to CRPs. Charles Clarke, a custodial project manager for GCE in Washington, D.C. and a member of the QWE team. Clarke made a request for rehab engineering from NISH on behalf of Julius Powell, GCE’s 2009 Employee of the Year and AbilityOne’s Eastern Region 2010 employee of the year. Clarke had a ride-on floor scrubber that he believed Powell, a motorized wheel chair user, could operate. Through assistance from NISH, Powell mastered the machine

Keisha Wright brings another perspective to the QWE team. Wright, a six-year Navy veteran and employee for a federal military contractor who is completing work on a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, joined GCE as a project manager about one year ago with no prior experience working with people with disabilities. She took her employees to five star rating and produced a 100 percent increase in employee morale in six months. Wright believes that all her employees want to do their best and she has brought a fresh approach to her employees. She demonstrates strong interpersonal skills and listens closely to her employees as her customers and treating them with respect. She has concerns, as do several of her colleagues, that career employment with outside employers may not provide the same level of support that GCE does for its employees. This area will be addressed in the strategic plan. The QWE team brings a high level of energy and commitment to mission. QWE continues on page 14

CRP Connection  •  NATIONAL  •  Summer 2011  •  13

National Connection 

QWE continued from page 13

Each of the team members have their own unique perspective of GCE and the team. They represent from one to 19 years of service at GCE. Two are high school graduates, three have some community college education, two have bachelor degrees and one is working on a master’s degree. No members of the team have any formal training in disability employment or related fields, which may be a key ingredient to success and the organization’s leadership. These employees have not learned about diagnostic labels and the negative self-fulfilling prophecies inherent in the field. Charles Clarke, a veteran with a disability who is the project manager in D.C.,

puts his values on the street every day with his commitment: “If I see injustice, it ties me up.”

supervisors have discovered through this process that they can identify and tackle issues themselves.”

Each member of the QWE team has high expectations for their employees and believes that they are making and can make a difference every day! They all realize they have much more to do in the years ahead to achieve the goals of their QWE strategic plan. They are aware of and acknowledge the challenges, but they look forward to the opportunities to improve the employment outcomes for employees either within GCE or in newly developed jobs with supports in the community. Branch had this to say, “QWE is a wonderful process that has and will continue to benefit GCE greatly. One benefit that will surely pay dividends is the fact that many

As Adrian Wyer, a 19-year employee and targeted employment specialist said, “I am passionate for change and innovation.” GCE will be successful because senior leadership and staff see QWE within a larger context of continuous quality improvement and not as an end unto itself. They recognize that quality is a moving target and they cannot rest on their laurels from yesterday’s successes.

CleanTelligent’s new

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puts YOU in the driver’s seat. We are so confident you’ll love CleanTelligent, we’re offering a FREE 30 Day Trial! Don’t have a mobile device to perform inspections and stay in touch with your clients? No problem! Sign up now and we’ll loan you a FREE BlackBerry device to “[CleanTelligent] helps us try out CleanTelligent!

better manage our cleaning operations for government facilities... GSA loves

CleanTelligent.” -Marsha Berry, Vice President, Goodwill Industries of Kentucky


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National Connection 

Bureau of Engraving and Printing Launches EyeNote™App to Help People Who Are Blind and Visually Impaired Denominate U.S. Currency


he Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) has developed a free downloadable application (app) to assist the people who are blind and visually impaired denominate U.S. currency. The app is called EyeNote™ — a mobile device app designed for Apple iPhone (3G, 3Gs, 4) and the 4th Generation iPod Touch and iPad2 platforms and is available through the Apple iTunes App Store.

EyeNote™ uses image recognition technology to determine a note’s denomination. The mobile device’s camera requires 51 percent of a note’s scanned image, front or back, to process. EyeNote™ can quickly provide an audible or vibrating response and can denominate all Federal Reserve notes issued since 1996. Free downloads will be available when new U.S. currency designs are introduced. Research indicates that more than 100,000 people who are blind and visually impaired individuals could currently own an Apple iPhone.

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The EyeNote™ app is one of a variety of measures the government is working to deploy to assist the visually impaired community to denominate currency, as proposed in a recent Federal Register notice. These measures include implementing a Currency Reader Program whereby a United States resident, who is blind or visually impaired, may obtain a coupon that can be applied toward the purchase of a device to denominate United States currency; continuing to add large high contrast numerals and different background colors to redesigned currency; and, raised tactile features may be added to redesigned currency, which would provide users with a means of identifying each denomination via touch. More information is available at or through email at More information can be found also at:

National Connection 

Total Facilities Management Surges Toward Rapid Growth and Jobs


multi-billion dollar national industry that encompasses nearly every AbilityOne® Program line of business is rapidly evolving into the biggest job creator for people with significant disabilities and a value-added contract solution for the federal government customer.

During the past 15 years, AbilityOne Total Facilities Management (TFM) services to the federal government have grown to include 36 sites nationwide, a total annual value of $100 million and jobs for more than 1,000 people with significant disabilities. Over the next five years, that pace of growth is expected to skyrocket, possibly transforming TFM into one of the AbilityOne Program’s largest service lines. The key driving forces behind the anticipated expansions are: collaboration among nonprofit agencies (NPAs), NISH and federal government customers; specialized trainings and capacity building; the creation of diverse, higher paying new jobs and customer commitments.

About TFM Total Facilities Management (TFM) is a profession that encompasses multiple disciplines to ensure functionality of a facility or group of facilities by integrating people, place, process and technology. Within the federal government, a variety of different terms are used to define TFM including: • Directorate/Department of Public Works (DPW) • Base Operations Support (BOS) Services (BOSS), (BASOPS) • Civil Engineering (CE) • Facilities Operations and Maintenance (FM&O), (O&M) No matter what the name, however, the central purpose of TFM is to maintain clean, safe, comfortable, well-maintained working facilities for staff and/or the public.

PRIDE Industries’ employee Jorge Casco inspects a light post at Fort MacArthur.

The TFM Advantage The advantage of AbilityOne TFM for the federal government customer is that it brings together a range of hard-to-manage technical services into a single, clientfriendly interface. It establishes a long-term partnership between the government customer and AbilityOne service provider thereby eliminating re-procurement costs, repeat start-up costs and the loss of historical project knowledge and performance requirements. TFM contracts also assist the government customer with the migration from Cost Plus (CP) to Fixed Price (FP) contracts. NPAs that offer TFM services have discovered the contracts typically are large, complex and support a cross-section of jobs. These include everything from maintenance trades helpers and grounds and general maintenance workers to carpenters, electricians, plumbing/pipefitters, HVAC technicians, water treatment workers, vehicle maintenance workers, locksmiths and many more. “AbilityOne Total

Facilities Management offers an unprecedented opportunity to create jobs that offer dignity and respect to citizens and to service men and women with disabilities who have so bravely defended us,” said Martin Williams, NISH Vice President of Regional Operations. “It allows disabled veterans with disabilities to continue to work closely with other service men and women continuing the mission.”

Case Studies PCSI, Inc., of Austin, Texas, performs AbilityOne TFM services at several locations: the Naval Medical Center Portsmouth (NMCP) in Va.; Annex to Buckley Air Force Base in Denver, Colo. and U.S. Army Camp Bullis in Texas. Additionally, PCSI is set to begin a TFM contract at Fort Sill U.S. Army post near Lawton, Okla. in October 2011. According to PCSI Vice President of Operations and Marketing Keith Walker, the organization Facilities Management continues on page 19

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National Connection  Facilities Management continued from page 17

has had tremendous success hiring veterans with disabilities on TFM contracts and promoting them into supervisory positions that in many cases led to jobs in the commercial sector. “TFM contracts create a wide variety of jobs, especially in technical areas like plumbing and electrical,” Walker said. “It has helped us change misperceptions about what people with significant disabilities are capable of achieving in the workplace.” “As the supervisor quality assurance specialist for the consolidated services contract, I am extremely excited to partner with NISH/AbilityOne. Since we started with AbilityOne, we have seen an overall improvement in the quality of our contract support services. PCSI staff assisted us in all areas of our contracted services from the transition of services to our daily activities. They are an awesome asset to our staff and the mission of NMCP!,” commented Gary Vaughn.

PCSI, Inc. employee Willie Mae Lee cleans a handrail at the Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth, Va.

In Boston, Mass., Work Inc. manages the TFM contract for the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. Work Inc. CEO James Cassetta shared that the TFM contract has created “phenomenal opportunities for people with disabilities” that surpass in complexity more traditional AbilityOne jobs. “TFM contracts create ‘career ladders’ for people with disabilities,” Cassetta said. “You find out what an individual can do and what they would like to do, and you build a work plan around their goals. Because of our TFM contract, we are sending some of our AbilityOne employees to vocational training to become certified as electricians or HVAC technicians.” Work Inc.’s strategic plan is to grow with the TFM line of business with the central objective of creating as many jobs as possible for people with significant disabilities. “We are prepared to grow, we have a structure for the line of business in place and we will pursue a partnership with a local NPA to expand our rehabilitation capabilities for such a contract,” Cassetta said. “We are also looking Facilities Management continues on page 20

PRIDE Industries employees Derek Lamirault works on equipment at Los Angeles Air Force Base.

CRP Connection  •  NATIONAL  •  Summer 2011  •  19

National Connection  sented by the government. A key activity of the task force was to reach out to NPAs to find out more about their capabilities. Through a Request for Information, the task force received valuable insights from NISH-affiliated agencies nationwide about what needs to be put in to place to support the TFM line of business.


WORK Inc. employee Robert Patterson keeps an eye on the control room at the John F. Kennedy Library. AbilityOne employees provide complete facilities management at the national landmark. Facilities Management continued from page 19

for a commercial partner to help set up the mentorship programs for all of the more technically skilled jobs. At the JFK Presidential Library and Museum, we work with local unions for training programs in carpentry and we have a close relationship with the electrical union. We will find the resources to provide job supports and any special training. For example, we brought in adaptive learning for a deaf employee so he could become HVAC certified and he is now working as an HVAC technician in the commercial sector.” PRIDE Industries Senior Vice President, Integrated Facilities Services, Peter Berghuis, agrees that TFM contracts are large-scale opportunities for significant job creation, individual career and wage growth and training for next-level jobs. “With strategic growth planning and partnering, NPAs can add the capabilities, infrastructure and develop the talent necessary to compete for these opportunities,” Berghuis said. PRIDE Industries is based in Roseville, Calif. and manages four TFM contracts at Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif.; Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort Polk, La. and Fort Dix, N.J.

Components For Success TFM contracts require multi-disciplined divisions, functional teams, coordinated systems and subject matter experts. For new TFM contracts to succeed, diverse teams must collaborate on contracts, finance, operations, quality assurance, human resource, payroll, accounting, information technology and legal teams. “These complex TFM projects require significant capacity, infrastructure, training and access to capital in order to execute successfully and to the government customer’s expectations,” Berghuis said. “In addition to specialized services, this includes organizational expertise in project transition and start-ups, project management, contracts administration, enterprise risk management, technical operations, quality assurance, safety management, procurement, and more.” NISH is working hard to catalyze AbilityOne TFM contracts by conducting extensive research on the success components of the business line and launching training programs to assist NPAs with identifying gaps and building capabilities. Last year, NISH formed an internal, crossfunctional task force to better understand how the AbilityOne Program is positioned to respond to increasing opportunities pre-

20  •  Summer 2011  •  NATIONAL  •  CRP Connection

NISH has collaborated with two facilities management associations—Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International and International Facility Management Association (IFMA)—to provide new total facilities management training to NPAs. Both associations are highly respected in the facilities asset management industry with tens of thousands of building professionals participating in facilities management educational opportunities on a regular basis. Another NISH effort to support TFM services is the testing of a new training concept called the Project of Excellence. With the support of NISH’s U.S. Army partners at Fort Knox, Ky., the Project of Excellence is designed to provide a real world, project training opportunity for NPA managers and executives within an active AbilityOne TFM contract. The goal is to develop a training curriculum that will educate and demonstrate all of the disciplines necessary to successfully operate a large TFM project. Through these initiatives, NISH is laying the groundwork for mentoring relationships and alliances that will expedite a capability building process as well as customer commitments that prepare the way for further job opportunities for people with disabilities. For more information about the AbilityOne TFM line of service, please contact: Mark Kessler, NISH senior team manager, strategic lines of business, NBDO at and (571) 226-4684.

National Connection 

NAVFAC Partnership with AbilityOne® Program Becomes Official NISH and NAVFAC Kick Off Strategic Alliance with Signing Ceremony


ISH and the United States Navy, Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) entered into a strategic alliance to create mutually beneficial outcomes. NISH and NAVFAC have operated as partners to carry out the mission, goals and objectives of NAVFAC and the AbilityOne Program for nearly a decade; however, there has been no “official agreement” until now. The agreement — Strategic Alliance Partnering Process Model for AbilityOne® Program Contracts — was signed into effect on March 11 at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, D.C.

materials to respective personnel for use in individual procurements and general lines of business. “We have almost 2,000 full time AbilityOne employees working on NAVFAC contracts. Our partnership with NAVFAC is critical,” said Chamberlin.

Rear Admiral Christopher J. Mossey, Chief of Civil Engineers for NAVFAC since May 2010, said, “For nearly 10 years NAVFAC and the AbilityOne® Program have been working together. I’m excited to be doing this now.” Mossey signed the agreement with NISH President and CEO Bob Chamberlin. “We’ve worked so closely together over the years. The great thing about this is we now have something formalized. Signing this alliance is important because it provides the underpinning for working together to strengthen our relationship and develop mutually desired outcomes,” said Chamberlin. Mossey noted he worked in the public works area when the AbilityOne® facilities maintenance services contract was awarded to Melwood Horticultural Training Center. “We knew we wanted to get better service,” he said. “It’s been about six years now of this service [with Melwood] and it’s been great. It’s a great program.”

Despite the fact that NAVFAC and NISH have worked closely together for years, the signatures of Rear Admiral Christopher J. Mossey, Chief of Civil Engineers, NAVFAC and NISH President & CEO Bob Chamberlin made the working agreement official.

NAVFAC and NISH, in accordance with the Federal Acquisition Regulations and under the new agreement, will maintain a strategic and cooperative business relationship with each other while complying with the acquisition/contract pricing processes. NAVFAC and NISH agree to maintain the public’s trust while fulfilling NAVFAC’s strategic mission and the public policy objectives of the AbilityOne Program®. The agreement highlights three main objectives — promote and increase the employment of people with significant disabilities; expand services into new lines of business procured by NAVFAC and provided by people with significant disabilities; and seek improved business practices and provide updated guidance, training and solutions management

Pictured left to right: Rear Admiral Christopher J. Mossey; Howard Cooke, AVP, NISH Operations; Cathy Cooke, director, AbilityOne Program Support/Special Projects; Veneece McNeley, director, NAVFAC OSBP; James Moffitt, Sr. manager, Operations Policies and NISH President & CEO Bob Chamberlin. CRP Connection  •  NATIONAL  •  Summer 2011  •  23

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ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED CRP Connection is published quarterly by the NISH Corporate Communications Department. To submit questions, comments or story ideas, please contact: Vatrice Jones at or (571) 226-4530. To request additional copies of CRP Connection, or to add or remove your name from the CRP Connection mailing list, please contact Vatrice Jones at or (571) 226-4526.


National Connection 

Buy AbilityOne Products on Exclusive Web Site was developed to enable members of the AbilityOne Network to purchase products produced and sold through the AbilityOne® Program by the participating community rehabilitation programs (CRPs) for use in operations and in fulfillment of service contracts. The site also offers many convenience items available on the site, including related commercial items and CRP-produced items not yet on the Procurement List. To begin using the site, a user name and password must be created. The site is an online catalog and is intended for the use of NIB, NISH and associated CRPs exclusively.

CRP Connection Summer 2011 Northcentral  

CRP Connection is published quarterly by the NISH Corporate Communications Department.

CRP Connection Summer 2011 Northcentral  

CRP Connection is published quarterly by the NISH Corporate Communications Department.