WASHINGTON, DC: Congresswoman Jen Kiggans (VA-02) announced she has received AbilityOne’s Congressional Champion Award. The award honors Congresswoman Kiggans for her commitment to constituents with disabilities and support of the AbilityOne Program, which provides employment opportunities through federal contracts for nearly 40,000 people who are blind or have significant disabilities, including more than 2,500 veterans.
“I’m honored to be named an AbilityOne Congressional Champion,” said Congresswoman Kiggans. “Every American deserves to experience the rewards of meaningful employment. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting several AbilityOne participants in Hampton Roads and am proud to have so many Virginians with disabilities working on our military bases; they make invaluable contributions to our community and our country. In Congress, I will continue to advocate for policies that support the economic and social inclusion of those with disabilities so they have greater opportunities to take pride in their work and lead independent lives!”
People with disabilities represent a largely untapped labor pool, with only about 35% of working age individuals with disabilities participating in the workforce.
The AbilityOne Program is run by the United States AbilityOne Commission, an independent Federal agency originally established as the Committee on Purchases of blind-Made Products by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1938. Today, the program operates at more than 1,000 locations across the country. An estimated 25,000 AbilityOne employees work on Department of Defense (DoD) contracts, and the Department of Defense procures more than $2.3 billion of AbilityOne products and services per year.
On April 6, 2023, Congresswoman Kiggans visited the AbilityOne Program at Wallops Island, where she met with officials from SourceAmerica, VersAbility, and Didlake and discussed contracting goals with the Program. She also met with individuals in the AbilityOne program and discussed the pride they took in their jobs.