Army Brig. Gen. Joseph A. Papenfus, DISA chief of staff (center) cuts the ribbon at the official opening of the DISA-Fort Meade AbilityOne Base Supply Center June 7. The new supply center, located at DISA headquarters, provides Fort Meade agencies and commands to conveniently purchase necessary supplies in store or through the center’s online website at shopbism.com.
The Defense Information Systems Agency hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony for the grand opening of the DISA-Fort Meade AbilityOne Base Supply Center (BSC) June 7.
AbilityOne BSCs are located on military installations and federal office buildings, like DISA headquarters, that offer one-stop shopping to military personnel and federal government employees who are government purchase card holders. Fort Meade agencies and commands will be able to conveniently purchase necessary supplies through the new retail store at DISA headquarters or purchase from the store at shopbism.com. Blind Industries and Services of Maryland (BISM) will deliver orders to non-DISA customers.
"We are excited to be partnered with the AbilityOne Program, BISM, and those that will work at this new base supply center,” said Brig. Gen. Joseph A. Papenfus, DISA chief of staff. “BISM and the organizations within the AbilityOne Program employ Americans who are blind or have significant disabilities, including approximately 3,000 veterans."
With every purchase made at BSCs, customers at DISA and Ft. Meade will continue to support the employment of qualified professionals who are blind or have other severe disabilities, including service-disabled veterans and military dependents.
Created in 1995, the BSC Program is administered under the federal AbilityOne Program and works with the National Industries for the Blind and other agencies to create employment opportunities for over 45,000 people who are blind or severely disabled through the sale of products and services sold to the federal government and U.S. military. AbilityOne BSCs also provide individuals with innovative rehabilitation programs as well as resources for training and education.
“Through organizations, like BISM, employees can enjoy full participation in their community and later market their AbilityOne-learned skills into other public and private sector jobs or potentially at DISA,” added Papenfus.
During the event, citations were presented to DISA and BISM President Michael Grosse, Ph.D., by representatives from Sen. Chris Van Hollen and Maryland state senator Pamela Beidle to recognize the importance of providing employment to the blind and disabled community in Anne Arundel County, Maryland.