BALTIMORE - Blind Industries and Services of Maryland President Fred Puente and Aberdeen Proving Ground Senior Commander Maj. Gen. Randy Taylor look on while a BISM employee sews a garment during a tour of the Baltimore facility, April 15, 2019. Puente guided Taylor and his spouse, Lucas Taylor, on a tour of its Rehabilitation and Manufacturing Divisions where they viewed facilities and met employees. BISM provides career opportunities, rehabilitation, services and training to blind adults. Its manufacturing operations include sewing U.S. Army uniforms.
"This visit was all about empowerment: Blind Industries empowering individuals with impaired vision to use their gifts and civilian workers empowering our Army by making critical supplies," said Taylor. "It was a privilege to learn about how this process unfolds, and it truly shows that this Army is your Army. It belongs to everyone, those with vision and those without, who share our extraordinary gift of liberty and justice for all."
BISM also owns and operates the AbilityOne Base Supply Centers on Aberdeen Proving Ground North and South. The Base Supply Centers on APG have nine employees and service all tenants, including contractor companies, on the posts.
According to the National Federation of the Blind, more than 70% of working-age adults who report significant vision loss are not employed full time.
When asked about the impact of supporting the Base Supply Center, Barry Councill, the APG North BSC Manager, stated that the ability to continue giving people jobs is the most important.