August 14, 2019

Congressman demonstrates commitment to supporting the AbilityOne Program

LA GRANGE, Ga. (August 14, 2019) — Rep. Drew Ferguson, R-Ga., was recently honored as an AbilityOne® Congressional Champion of employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

SourceAmerica® distinguishes members of Congress for going the extra mile to help nonprofit agencies gain recognition in their communities or with legislative requests. Ferguson is part of a list of 156 certified Congressional Champions from 41 states and the District of Columbia.

In order to become an AbilityOne Congressional Champion, congressmembers must complete four steps that include visiting a contract site, utilizing AbilityOne products or services and showing public support for the program. Ferguson has met with advocates of the AbilityOne Program in his D.C. office, visited New Ventures, Inc. and utilizes pens in his office that were manufactured as part of the program.

"Rep. Ferguson has been a leader in the West Georgia area and instrumental in the economic growth of the region.  He is a supporter of both New Ventures, Inc. and Georgia Industries for the Blind." Said Mike Wilson, president and CEO of New Ventures, Inc. "We are thankful for his interest in running for office after he saw the downturn of the economy in the late 90's. The industrial growth experienced in West Georgia has company's looking for new ways to fill the labor force. We appreciate Rep. Ferguson's dedication to working with Citizens with Disabilities and are proud to recognize him as an AbilityOne Congressional Champion."

Each Congressional Champion receives a plaque that incorporates a commemorative coin and two personalized certificates. The awards are framed and matted by people with disabilities at Eastern Carolina Vocational Center, Inc. in Greenville, North Carolina. Once certified, members of Congress stay on the list until they leave office.  

"The AbilityOne Program was created through three Congressional Champions," said John Kelly, vice president of government affairs for SourceAmerica. "It's so important that we have current-day champions, like Rep. Ferguson, who recognize the tremendous value that professionals with disabilities bring to the workforce and who work to ensure career opportunities continue to grow for them into the future."

The AbilityOne Congressional Champions Program was established in 2002 to honor representatives and senators who have demonstrated a commitment to constituents with disabilities and the AbilityOne Program. More information about the AbilityOne Congressional Champion Program is available online.

About SourceAmerica
Established in 1974, SourceAmerica creates employment opportunities for a skilled and dedicated workforce of people with disabilities. SourceAmerica is the vital link between the federal government and private sector organizations that procure the products and services provided by this exceptional workforce via a network of more than 750 community-based nonprofits. Headquartered in Vienna, Virginia, SourceAmerica provides its nonprofit agency network with business development, contract management, legislative and regulatory assistance, communications and public relations materials, information technology support, engineering and technical assistance, and extensive professional training needed for successful nonprofit management. Visit SourceAmerica.org to learn more, or follow us on Facebook (@SourceAmerica), Twitter (@SourceAmericaUS) and LinkedIn (@SourceAmerica).

About New Ventures, Inc.
New Ventures, Inc. is a community organization that provides work-based training to teach basic soft skills needed for success in all career choices. Founded in 1972, New Ventures, Inc. initially served adults with developmental disabilities providing programs of work and leisure activities. In response to growing community needs, the program has expanded over the years to include work evaluation, work adjustment, and job placement for persons with disabilities as well as individuals with other barriers to employment. Barriers addressed include educational, legal, attitudinal, behavioral, economic, underemployed or unemployed.

About the AbilityOne Program
The AbilityOne Program is one of the largest sources of employment in the United States for people who are blind or have significant disabilities. Approximately 45,000 people who are blind or have significant disabilities, including approximately 3,000 veterans, are employed at approximately 500 nonprofit agencies nationwide, across 15 time zones, from Maine to Guam. AbilityOne provided more than $3.3 billion in products and services to the federal government in fiscal year 2018. The Program operates at more than 1,000 locations, representing 40 government agencies, including more than 150 Base Supply Centers at military and government installations.