NISH PARTNERS WITH SOCIAL ENTERPRISE ALLIANCE TO CREATE JOBS FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
Vienna, Va., April 26, 2011 — NISH has partnered with the Social Enterprise Alliance (SEA) to promote job creation, training and opportunities for the disability community. NISH is one of two national nonprofit agencies designated by the Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled to support local nonprofit agencies participating in the AbilityOne Program, which provide employment opportunities for people who are blind or have other significant disabilities through federal contracts for products and services. SEA is the largest member network in North America working to support and advance the field of social enterprise.
NISH is committed to increasing the number and quality of jobs for people with significant disabilities. With more than 600 nonprofits across the country and nearly 700 members across North America, NISH and SEA respectively, are positioned to make a significant impact on opportunities to create jobs for people with significant disabilities. Some of the SEA members already have enterprises that engage people with disabilities.
“This new partnership with SEA is another example of our commitment to double the number of jobs in the AbilityOne Program over the next five years. NISH-affiliated agencies will be key in the success of this partnership as each one has an opportunity to take a leadership role in developing networking programming employment opportunities that focus on people with significant disabilities,” said NISH President and CEO Bob Chamberlin.
NISH is expected to help lead SEA’s affinity group to address the concerns of the disability community. NISH is a leader in the social enterprise field and will be able to help build social enterprise capability. Through the partnership, SEA will leverage its global, national and regional reach to increase its growth through year-round capacity-building education and training, networking and peer mentoring.
“NISH and SEA will each benefit greatly from this partnership. It’s a mutual understanding for the purpose of supporting people with significant disabilities,” Chamberlin said.
# # #
NISH–Creating Employment for People with Significant Disabilities
Established in 1974, NISH (www.nish.org) is one of two national, nonprofit agencies designated by the Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled to support nonprofit agencies (NPAs) participating in the AbilityOne® Program. NISH provides employment opportunities for people who are blind or have other significant disabilities by procuring Federal contracts for goods and services. Headquartered in Vienna, Va., NISH supports a network of more than 1,300 NPAs as well as Federal customers by providing legislative and regulatory assistance, communications and public relations materials, information technology support, engineering and technical assistance, and extensive professional training needed for successful contract management. In FY 2010, through the AbilityOne Program, NISH-affiliated agencies operating in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam reported a record 432,480 jobs for people with severe disabilities. During this same period, AbilityOne-producing NPAs reported more than 136,000 jobs for people with disabilities supporting a wide range of companies, organizations and Federal customers.
Providing employment opportunities to more than 47,000 people, the AbilityOne® Program is the largest single source of employment for people who are blind or have other significant disabilities in the United States. More than 600 participating nonprofit organizations employ these individuals and provide quality goods and services to the Federal Government at a fair market price. The AbilityOne® Program is administered by the Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled (www.abilityone.gov), an independent Federal agency, with assistance from National Industries for the Blind (NIB, www.nib.org) and NISH-Creating Employment Opportunities for People with Significant Disabilities (www.nish.org).