Blind Employees Serve America's Military at Luke AFB Base Supply Center

Aug 31, 2010, 19:23 ET from National Industries for the Blind

Celebrate 15th Anniversary of the AbilityOne BSC Program August 31

GLENDALE, Ariz., Aug. 31 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- For the past 13 years, five blind and five sighted employees at Focusworks Base Supply Center (BSC) on Luke Air Force Base have been providing on-base mission critical support and outfitting servicemen and women for deployment throughout the world.  Today, these employees, and the Arizona Industries for the Blind (AIB), reached out to thank the community at Luke AFB for their support and to celebrate the 15th Anniversary of the AbilityOne Base Supply Center program.  

Focusworks, operated by the Arizona Industries for the Blind, also locally supports the Army National Guard, the 161st Air Refueling Wing of the Arizona National Guard, the U.S. Air Force ROTC, as the Veteran's Administration, the United States Marshals Service and the Department of Homeland Security.

There are 140 AbilityOne BSC facilities located at federal and military installations throughout the United States that provide employment to 300 Americans who are blind or severely disabled.  More than 40,000 blind or disabled people are employed through the sale of products and services through the AbilityOne Program.  

U.S. Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) praised the work of the AbilityOne Program and the Focusworks BSC in a letter of recognition presented during a program at Luke AFB.  

"AIB has been a genuine asset operating centers at Luke Air Force Base, Davis-Mothan Air Force Base in Tucson and the Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma," Kyl wrote. "It is a great pleasure to offer my congratulations and thanks for your long standing service at Luke Air Force Base and to those who have helped make the AbilityOne Base Supply Center Program the success it is today."

"Today's celebration demonstrates how the American dream is available to people who are blind through business opportunities, followed by hard work, innovation and quality service," said Kevin A. Lynch, president and CEO, National Industries for the Blind.  

Attendees included: Arizona Department of Economic Security Director Neal Young, Glendale Vice Mayor Steven Frate, Goodyear Vice Mayor Georgia Lord, Avondale Vice Mayor Jim McDonald and James Omvig, Vice Chair, Committee for Purchase from People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled.

Colonel Robert K. McCutchen, Jr., Vice Commander, 944th Fighter Wing unit at Luke AFB, said, ""Everybody wants to do the same thing – be productive, raise their family and contribute to our community.  The staff [at Focusworks] does that every day and you are serving your country well."

"I know our employees at Focusworks – who live in Phoenix, Glendale, Avondale and Goodyear – sincerely appreciate Luke Air Force Base's mission and their support of the AbilityOne Base Supply Center program," said Dick Monaco, General Manager, AIB.  AIB also operates BSCs at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson and Yuma Marine Corp Air Station in Yuma.

About National Industries for the Blind

NIB's ( mission is to enhance the opportunities for economic and personal independence of persons who are blind, primarily through creating, sustaining and improving employment.  NIB and 89 associated agencies serve as the largest employer for people who are blind by the sale of SKILCRAFT® products and services through the AbilityOne Program, established by the Javits-Wagner-O'Day Act.

SOURCE National Industries for the Blind