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Overview:

The Committee for Purchase from People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled (CPPBSD), an independent federal agency, oversees and manages the AbilityOne Program, which creates job opportunities for individuals who are blind or severely disabled by facilitating government purchases of supplies and services from nonprofit agencies that employ them.

more
History:

In 1938 President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law the Wagner-O’Day Act to provide employment opportunities for people who were blind, by making it viable for them to manufacture mops, brooms and other commodities to sell to the federal government. In 1971 Sen. Jacob Javits pushed Congress to amend the act so to include people with severe handicaps, and allow the program to provide services to the federal government as well. In addition, the amendment established the CPPBSD as an independent federal agency with a professional civilian staff. With the Javits-Wagner-O’Day Law, the program it administered was referred to as JWOD. In 2006 JWOD was re-named AbilityOne.

more
What it Does:

The Committee for Purchase from People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled (CPPBSD) administers the AbilityOne Program, a federal initiative that is the single largest source of employment in the U.S. of the blind or people with severe disabilities. In association with two central nonprofit agencies, the National Industries for the Blind (NIB) and National Industries for the Severely Handicapped (NISH), the Committee coordinates with more than 600 nonprofit agencies that hire people with disabilities across the country, as well as in Puerto Rico and Guam.

 

The Committee, along with NIB and NISH, identifies government procurement requirements that can generate the employment scenarios. Then the product and service requirements are put on a procurement list, and state and private nonprofit agencies that employ the blind and severely disabled are designated, to see if they can furnish the requirements in the time frame needed. The federal agency must procure the product or service from the designated nonprofit at a fair market price, which the Committee has the sole responsibility of setting. Among the products and services that have been part of the program: Office supplies, military clothing, detergents, paints, and surgical items, and jobs in landscaping, building maintenance, food service, mail center operations, laundry services, order processing, and administrative support. 

 

From the Web Site of the Committee for Purchase from People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled

AbilityOne Program

NISH

Base Supply Centers

Federal Customers

Individuals with Disabilities

  Liaisons

Potential Distributors

Products and Services

Search Services List

more
Former Directors:

Earnestine (Tina) Ballard

Tina Ballard, who received a BA in English in 1980 from the University of Dayton in Ohio, an MS in Management in 1989 from Friends University in Wichita, Kansas, and an MS in National Resource Strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in 2001, also completed the Industrial College of the Armed Forces Senior Acquisition Course, and Leadership for a Democratic Society at the Federal Executive Institute. In her 30 years of federal government work she has served as Director of Combat Support Operations; Deputy Executive Director of Contract Management Operations in the Defense Contract Management Agency; as a Contract Specialist in the Aeronautical Systems Division, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, where she was designated a Procuring Contracting Officer; as the Principal Administrative Contracting Officer and Director of Contract Operations for the Air Force Plant Representative Office, Boeing Military Airplanes, Wichita, Kansas; as the Director of Pacific/Caribbean Contract Operations in DCMA International, serving as a liaison to the Air Force Material Command; in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, where she led several projects for the Deputy Secretary of Defense; and as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Policy and Procurement).

 

She began her current position March 2, 2008.

 

While serving as a senior procurement officer for the Army, Ballard was questioned during House Government Reform and Oversight Committee hearings about the allegation that former Halliburton subsidiary KBR had hired the private security company Blackwater USA to service KBR in Iraq even though the law prohibited private security companies from operating in the war zone. In an initial hearing on the subject, Ballard assured the Committee that Blackwater had not been hired under a KBR subcontract. But in another hearing six months later she told the Committee that “after extensive research” it was determined that her earlier statements were incorrect, and by the end of the full hearing she announced that the Army would be reducing its fee to KBR because it was apparent, under several layers of subcontracts, that Blackwater had indeed been hired.

 

Ballard was a contributor to the presidential campaign of Barack Obama.

KBR’s $400 Million Iraq Question (by Jeremy Scahill and Garrett Ordower, The Nation)

Officials admit private security firm was hired under Iraq logistics contract (by Jenny Mandel, Government Executive)

After Many Denials, Army Confirms Private Security Contract in Iraq (by Larry Margasak, Associated Press)

more

Comments

John Swartz 2 years ago
How many people are fed employees at AbilityOne Commission?
robert oroumieh 2 years ago
I have a problem with NIB getting preferential treatment from GSA while replacing USA made products with Chinese ones. This is what NIB did recently when they replaced my company's USA made highlighter and double ended pens used by GSA for many years with inferior Chinese ones. This is shameful. NIB lives off of America's generosity, yet it eliminates American jobs and creates Chinese ones. This is wrong. I will be glad to furnish proof If you are interested. My E Mail is robert@amitymfg.com.
Nona Kyle 8 years ago
These operations should be under jurisdiction of the states. We can't afford the overhead of having the Federal government in charge.

Leave a comment

Founded: 1938
Annual Budget: $5.396 million (FY 2013 Request)
Employees: 31 employees, 15 on Committee. Around 46,000 employed in AbilityOne Program. (FY 2013 Estimate)
Official Website: http://www.abilityone.gov/
U.S. AbilityOne Commission (Committee for Purchase from People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled)
Kesteloot, James
Chairperson

James M. Kesteloot, who has been legally blind his entire life, was appointed by President Barack Obama to the AbilityOne Commission, formerly the Committee for Purchase from People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled, in September 2010. He was elected vice chairperson in July 2011 and chairperson in July 2015.

 

Kesteloot is from Chicago. His first encounter with Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind (CLB) came when he was 13 years old and was sent there for treatment for his vision impairment. He graduated from Schurz High School in 1960. He subsequently earned a B.S. from Loyola in 1967 and an M.S. in management of rehabilitative services in 1977 from DePaul, both in the Chicago area.

 

He began his career in 1966 as a vocational counselor at what is now the Illinois State Department of Employment Security, referring clients for jobs and counseling those with disabilities.

 

In 1969, Kesteloot took a job at CLB, where he’d sought help years before, as a job placement counselor. He subsequently was named director of the manufacturing program—CLB makes clocks, among other things—and director of professional services.

 

Kesteloot was made CLB’s executive director in 1996 and added the title of president to his resume in 2002. One of his challenges there was the dropoff in business from CLB’s largest customer. The federal government formerly accounted for 90% of the organization’s business in clocks. Regulations changed, allowing departments to purchase clocks locally, such as from big-box stores. Kesteloot retired from CLB in 2009.

 

Kesteloot lives in Arlington Heights, Illinois, with his wife, Barbara. They have three adult children.

-Steve Straehley

 

To Learn More:

Bringing Focus To The Visually Impaired (by Denny Johnson, Chicago Tribune)

Official Biography

more
Ballard, Earnestine "Tina"
Previous Executive Director
Ballard, who received a BA in English in 1980 from the University of Dayton in Ohio, a Master of Science in Management in 1989 from Friends University in Wichita, Kansas, and a Master of Science in National Resource Strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in 2001, also completed the Industrial College of the Armed Forces Senior Acquisition Course, and Leadership for a Democratic Society at the Federal Executive Institute. In her thirty years of federal government work she has served as Director of Combat Support Operations; Deputy Executive Director of Contract Management Operations in the Defense Contract Management Agency; as a Contract Specialist in the Aeronautical Systems Division, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, where she was designated a Procuring Contracting Officer; as the Principal Administrative Contracting Officer and Director of Contract Operations for the Air Force Plant Representative Office, Boeing Military Airplanes, Wichita, Kansas; as the Director of Pacific/Caribbean Contract Operations in DCMA International, serving as a liaison to the Air Force Material Command; in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, where she led several projects for the Deputy Secretary of Defense; and as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Policy and Procurement).
 
She began her current position March 2, 2008.
 
While serving as a senior procurement officer for the Army, Ballard was questioned during House Government Reform and Oversight Committee hearings about the allegation that former Halliburton subsidiary KBR had hired the private security company Blackwater USA to service KBR in Iraq even though the law prohibited private security companies from operating in the war zone. In an initial hearing on the subject, Ballard assured the committee that Blackwater had not been hired under a KBR subcontract. But in another hearing six months later she told the Committee that “after extensive research” it was determined that her earlier statements were incorrect, and by the end of the full hearing she announced that the Army would be reducing its fee to KBR because it was apparent, under several layers of subcontracts, that Blackwater had indeed been hired.
 
Ballard was a contributor to the presidential campaign of Barack Obama.
 
KBR’s $400 Million Iraq Question (by Jeremy Scahill and Garrett Ordower, The Nation)
 
 
more
Bookmark and Share
Overview:

The Committee for Purchase from People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled (CPPBSD), an independent federal agency, oversees and manages the AbilityOne Program, which creates job opportunities for individuals who are blind or severely disabled by facilitating government purchases of supplies and services from nonprofit agencies that employ them.

more
History:

In 1938 President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law the Wagner-O’Day Act to provide employment opportunities for people who were blind, by making it viable for them to manufacture mops, brooms and other commodities to sell to the federal government. In 1971 Sen. Jacob Javits pushed Congress to amend the act so to include people with severe handicaps, and allow the program to provide services to the federal government as well. In addition, the amendment established the CPPBSD as an independent federal agency with a professional civilian staff. With the Javits-Wagner-O’Day Law, the program it administered was referred to as JWOD. In 2006 JWOD was re-named AbilityOne.

more
What it Does:

The Committee for Purchase from People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled (CPPBSD) administers the AbilityOne Program, a federal initiative that is the single largest source of employment in the U.S. of the blind or people with severe disabilities. In association with two central nonprofit agencies, the National Industries for the Blind (NIB) and National Industries for the Severely Handicapped (NISH), the Committee coordinates with more than 600 nonprofit agencies that hire people with disabilities across the country, as well as in Puerto Rico and Guam.

 

The Committee, along with NIB and NISH, identifies government procurement requirements that can generate the employment scenarios. Then the product and service requirements are put on a procurement list, and state and private nonprofit agencies that employ the blind and severely disabled are designated, to see if they can furnish the requirements in the time frame needed. The federal agency must procure the product or service from the designated nonprofit at a fair market price, which the Committee has the sole responsibility of setting. Among the products and services that have been part of the program: Office supplies, military clothing, detergents, paints, and surgical items, and jobs in landscaping, building maintenance, food service, mail center operations, laundry services, order processing, and administrative support. 

 

From the Web Site of the Committee for Purchase from People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled

AbilityOne Program

NISH

Base Supply Centers

Federal Customers

Individuals with Disabilities

  Liaisons

Potential Distributors

Products and Services

Search Services List

more
Former Directors:

Earnestine (Tina) Ballard

Tina Ballard, who received a BA in English in 1980 from the University of Dayton in Ohio, an MS in Management in 1989 from Friends University in Wichita, Kansas, and an MS in National Resource Strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in 2001, also completed the Industrial College of the Armed Forces Senior Acquisition Course, and Leadership for a Democratic Society at the Federal Executive Institute. In her 30 years of federal government work she has served as Director of Combat Support Operations; Deputy Executive Director of Contract Management Operations in the Defense Contract Management Agency; as a Contract Specialist in the Aeronautical Systems Division, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, where she was designated a Procuring Contracting Officer; as the Principal Administrative Contracting Officer and Director of Contract Operations for the Air Force Plant Representative Office, Boeing Military Airplanes, Wichita, Kansas; as the Director of Pacific/Caribbean Contract Operations in DCMA International, serving as a liaison to the Air Force Material Command; in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, where she led several projects for the Deputy Secretary of Defense; and as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Policy and Procurement).

 

She began her current position March 2, 2008.

 

While serving as a senior procurement officer for the Army, Ballard was questioned during House Government Reform and Oversight Committee hearings about the allegation that former Halliburton subsidiary KBR had hired the private security company Blackwater USA to service KBR in Iraq even though the law prohibited private security companies from operating in the war zone. In an initial hearing on the subject, Ballard assured the Committee that Blackwater had not been hired under a KBR subcontract. But in another hearing six months later she told the Committee that “after extensive research” it was determined that her earlier statements were incorrect, and by the end of the full hearing she announced that the Army would be reducing its fee to KBR because it was apparent, under several layers of subcontracts, that Blackwater had indeed been hired.

 

Ballard was a contributor to the presidential campaign of Barack Obama.

KBR’s $400 Million Iraq Question (by Jeremy Scahill and Garrett Ordower, The Nation)

Officials admit private security firm was hired under Iraq logistics contract (by Jenny Mandel, Government Executive)

After Many Denials, Army Confirms Private Security Contract in Iraq (by Larry Margasak, Associated Press)

more

Comments

John Swartz 2 years ago
How many people are fed employees at AbilityOne Commission?
robert oroumieh 2 years ago
I have a problem with NIB getting preferential treatment from GSA while replacing USA made products with Chinese ones. This is what NIB did recently when they replaced my company's USA made highlighter and double ended pens used by GSA for many years with inferior Chinese ones. This is shameful. NIB lives off of America's generosity, yet it eliminates American jobs and creates Chinese ones. This is wrong. I will be glad to furnish proof If you are interested. My E Mail is robert@amitymfg.com.
Nona Kyle 8 years ago
These operations should be under jurisdiction of the states. We can't afford the overhead of having the Federal government in charge.

Leave a comment

Founded: 1938
Annual Budget: $5.396 million (FY 2013 Request)
Employees: 31 employees, 15 on Committee. Around 46,000 employed in AbilityOne Program. (FY 2013 Estimate)
Official Website: http://www.abilityone.gov/
U.S. AbilityOne Commission (Committee for Purchase from People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled)
Kesteloot, James
Chairperson

James M. Kesteloot, who has been legally blind his entire life, was appointed by President Barack Obama to the AbilityOne Commission, formerly the Committee for Purchase from People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled, in September 2010. He was elected vice chairperson in July 2011 and chairperson in July 2015.

 

Kesteloot is from Chicago. His first encounter with Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind (CLB) came when he was 13 years old and was sent there for treatment for his vision impairment. He graduated from Schurz High School in 1960. He subsequently earned a B.S. from Loyola in 1967 and an M.S. in management of rehabilitative services in 1977 from DePaul, both in the Chicago area.

 

He began his career in 1966 as a vocational counselor at what is now the Illinois State Department of Employment Security, referring clients for jobs and counseling those with disabilities.

 

In 1969, Kesteloot took a job at CLB, where he’d sought help years before, as a job placement counselor. He subsequently was named director of the manufacturing program—CLB makes clocks, among other things—and director of professional services.

 

Kesteloot was made CLB’s executive director in 1996 and added the title of president to his resume in 2002. One of his challenges there was the dropoff in business from CLB’s largest customer. The federal government formerly accounted for 90% of the organization’s business in clocks. Regulations changed, allowing departments to purchase clocks locally, such as from big-box stores. Kesteloot retired from CLB in 2009.

 

Kesteloot lives in Arlington Heights, Illinois, with his wife, Barbara. They have three adult children.

-Steve Straehley

 

To Learn More:

Bringing Focus To The Visually Impaired (by Denny Johnson, Chicago Tribune)

Official Biography

more
Ballard, Earnestine "Tina"
Previous Executive Director
Ballard, who received a BA in English in 1980 from the University of Dayton in Ohio, a Master of Science in Management in 1989 from Friends University in Wichita, Kansas, and a Master of Science in National Resource Strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in 2001, also completed the Industrial College of the Armed Forces Senior Acquisition Course, and Leadership for a Democratic Society at the Federal Executive Institute. In her thirty years of federal government work she has served as Director of Combat Support Operations; Deputy Executive Director of Contract Management Operations in the Defense Contract Management Agency; as a Contract Specialist in the Aeronautical Systems Division, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, where she was designated a Procuring Contracting Officer; as the Principal Administrative Contracting Officer and Director of Contract Operations for the Air Force Plant Representative Office, Boeing Military Airplanes, Wichita, Kansas; as the Director of Pacific/Caribbean Contract Operations in DCMA International, serving as a liaison to the Air Force Material Command; in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, where she led several projects for the Deputy Secretary of Defense; and as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Policy and Procurement).
 
She began her current position March 2, 2008.
 
While serving as a senior procurement officer for the Army, Ballard was questioned during House Government Reform and Oversight Committee hearings about the allegation that former Halliburton subsidiary KBR had hired the private security company Blackwater USA to service KBR in Iraq even though the law prohibited private security companies from operating in the war zone. In an initial hearing on the subject, Ballard assured the committee that Blackwater had not been hired under a KBR subcontract. But in another hearing six months later she told the Committee that “after extensive research” it was determined that her earlier statements were incorrect, and by the end of the full hearing she announced that the Army would be reducing its fee to KBR because it was apparent, under several layers of subcontracts, that Blackwater had indeed been hired.
 
Ballard was a contributor to the presidential campaign of Barack Obama.
 
KBR’s $400 Million Iraq Question (by Jeremy Scahill and Garrett Ordower, The Nation)
 
 
more