April 10, 2019

Winners of National Engineering Competition for Innovative Workplace Solutions Designed for People with Disabilities Announced

VIENNA, VA (April 10, 2019) – SourceAmerica®, an AbilityOne® authorized enterprise, announced the winners of its annual Design Challenge. Copley High School -- from Copley, Ohio -- took first-place for their device called the Sorting Solutions So Everyone Can Work.

The national engineering competition encourages high school students across the country to create an innovative process, device, system or software that helps people with disabilities overcome workplace challenges.

The Copley Lady Engineers Plus Two team partnered with Weaver ProPak to create a system of devices called the Sort-A-Screw (SAS). Weaver ProPak employee Willie Warrior was the subject matter expert on the project. The team set a goal to improve his task of sorting and kitting various sized material. "We're very excited to be able to go home as first-place winners of the Design Challenge," said team captain Nina White. "We put in lots of hours trying to create the perfect solution for Willie, so it's rewarding to be acknowledged for our work."

"We were impressed by the creativity and engineering behind each of the team's submissions and I'm sure the judges found it difficult to select the top winner," said SourceAmerica Chief Operating Officer Steven Krotonsky. "We're proud of all of the students and are energized by their level of talent and genuine interest in designing workplace solutions for people with disabilities."

Runners up included:

Second Place
Poolesville High School, Poolesville, MD, Team SIC: Brewing Up Workplace Solutions/Furnace Hills Coffee –Poolesville and Westminster, Maryland
Video: The Coffee Cube

Third Place
Poolesville High School, Poolesville, MD, Team A&M Co.: A Hands-Free App Provides the Recipe for Success/That's A Wrap Deli – Poolesville and Gaithersburg, Maryland
Video: RecipEasy

Fourth Place
Marquette Catholic High School, Alton, IL: Eliminating Errors and Increasing Employee Satisfaction/Challenge Unlimited, Alton, Illinois
Video: The Shell Shover

Fifth Place
Diamond Bar Engineers, Diamond Bar, CA: A "Turn for a Change" Leads to a Change for the Better --Diamond Bar High School and Rowland High School (Los Angeles/San Bernardino), California/Opportunity Village, Southern Nevada
Video: Turn for a Change

The SourceAmerica Design Challenge Finals Event took place on April 10 just outside of Washington, D.C., following two days of training sessions and congressional visits on Capitol Hill. The finalists presented their projects in front of a judging panel and an audience and received trophies and cash prizes.

Judges for the SourceAmerica Design Challenge were comprised of rehabilitation engineers, people with disabilities and others with relevant backgrounds. They evaluated the projects based on positive impact in the workplace -- job creation/retention, wage increases, production increases, contracts gained, waste reduction, stress/anxiety reduction and improved processes.

For more information about SourceAmerica's Design Challenge, please visit: www.sourceamerica.org/design-challenge/home.

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).