Rep. Elaine Luria recognized by SourceAmerica as an AbilityOne Congressional Champion of employment for people with disabilities
Congresswoman demonstrates commitment to supporting the AbilityOne Program
HAMPTON, Va. (September 4, 2019) — Rep. Elaine Luria, D-Va., 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. Luria is part of a list of 156 certified Congressional Champions from 41 states and the District of Columbia.
"Thank you VersAbility, SourceAmerica, and Virginia Industries for the Blind for visiting today. I appreciated learning about opportunities to employ all constituents in #VA02 and will fight to maintain and expand opportunities to employ people with disabilities." Said Luria. "These constituents have much to offer, and our workplaces and communities are richer when we include everyone. It was also an honor receiving the AbilityOne Program Champion award."
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. Luria met with advocates of the AbilityOne Program in her D.C. office during SourceAmerica’s Grassroots Conference earlier this year and visited VersAbility Resources. In addition, her office utilizes products that are manufactured as part of the program.
"We are grateful to Representative Luria for visiting VersAbility to meet our employees with disabilities and hear how the dignity of work transforms their lives." Said Kasia Grzelkowski, CEO of VersAbility Resources. "We are honored to recognize Representative Luria as an AbilityOne Congressional Champion and to continue to work together to create jobs and opportunities for people with disabilities."
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.
"Support from Members of Congress, like Representative Luria, is critical if we are to help people with disabilities join the workforce." Said John Kelly, vice president of government affairs for SourceAmerica. "We are proud to recognize her as an AbilityOne Congressional Champion.
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.
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 (@SourceAmerica) and LinkedIn (@SourceAmerica).
VersAbility Resources has been supporting people with disabilities for over 65 years. We are a nonprofit, serving 1,600 people with disabilities of all ages in Early Childhood, Student Services, Day Support, Community Living, and four diverse Employment programs. VersAbility serves the entire Hampton Roads region, as well as the ten counties on the Middle Peninsula and Northern Neck. We have offices in Hampton, Newport News, Gloucester, and Norfolk. Through our Government Contracts program we have created jobs for people with disabilities across the globe. We are a capable business partner, engaged in federal contracting, manufacturing, packaging, digitization, and more.
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.