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Alabama Industries for the Blind Opens New Supply Store at Warner Robins Air Force Base in Georgia
February 8, 2018 – Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind’s Alabama Industries for the Blind celebrated the grand opening of a new supply store at Warner Robins Air Force Base in Georgia this week. The Warner Robins AFB site is the fourth location currently operating through AIB including Redstone Arsenal and Ft. Rucker in Alabama and Moody Air Force Base in Valdosta, Georgia.
Ability One — one of the largest sources of employment on federal contracts for individuals who are blind or have significant disabilities in the United States — will take over uniform issuance at Robins. Alabama Industries for the Blind secures government contracts for production and operations through the Ability One program and National Industries for the Blind. AIB employs approximately 200 blind and deaf adults through its manufacturing plants in Talladega and Birmingham and through its base supply store locations. Blind workers make a variety of items including flight bags, JLIST bags, deck swabs for the U.S. Navy, brushes, paper and screen print products and all the neckties worn by the U.S. military.
According to Robins Air Force Base Public Affairs, the new base supply store will improve the way Airmen get their uniforms. Currently, service members receive their uniforms from the Individual Equipment Element within Base Supply. It’s an arrangement that sometimes leaves military members without their Operational Camouflage Pattern uniforms before deploying because uniforms are not currently kept on hand at the center.
“The changeover represents a great day for Team Robins,” said David Burton, 78th Logistics Readiness Squadron Materiel Management Flight chief. “Some installations converted to Ability One-run base supply centers more than 20 years ago. “This conversion puts us in line with most continental U.S. military installations and will provide better overall support for the warfighter and Team Robins,” he added.
“The change is occurring to provide better support to team Robins, Burton added. “The (AIB) Ability One-run Base Supply Center will not only support the installation with uniforms, it will also be a source for administrative supplies
The Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind is pleased to become partners with Warner Robins Air Force Base through AIB’s Ability One BaseSupply Store,” said AIDB President Dr. John Mascia. We are the state’s largest employer of blind adults – individuals who proudly tell anyone who will listen that they are supporting the U.S. military every day when they come to work. The major portion of our annual $30 million in sales is directly linked to military contracts. Some of those employees once served on active duty in the military and today are proud to say – “Because of this job we’re still doing our part!”
“The Alabama Industries for the Blind marked 85 years in business last year,” said Jerry Martin, Executive Manager of Alabama Industries for the Blind. “It is a component of the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind, the world’s most comprehensive education and service program for individuals of all ages with hearing and/or vision loss. Warner Robins Air Force Base is one of our nation’s greatest defense assets and AIB looks forward to this new and future opportunities to support the U.S. military while creating employment opportunities for blind and vision impaired adults through our Ability One base supply store. It’s a win-win.”
The Ability One Program is administered by the U.S. Ability One Commission, an independent federal agency with assistance from National Industries for the Blind and Source America. Currently, Ability One operates more than 150 Base Supply Centers on military and government installations.
Alabama Industries for the Blind is a component of the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind and an affiliate of the National Industries for the Blind. For more information on AIB’s base supply operations or manufacturing programs visit www.aib-aidb.com.