In 2010, the federal government had a problem: Millions of taxpayer dollars appropriated for completed contracts were in financial limbo. The executed contracts hadn’t used all of the funds appropriated, but the money couldn’t be returned to the government until the contracts were closed out, and the government lacked enough trained personnel to do that.
Enter National Industries for the Blind (NIB), which was looking to develop a new career path offering upwardly mobile, professional positions to people who are blind. Working with the Department of Defense, NIB developed and launched its Contract Management Support (CMS) services program to help clear the backlog of contracts and train people who are blind for careers in government contracting.
Twelve years in, the program has helped close more than 370,000 contacts and identified more than $22.3 billion in taxpayer dollars to be reappropriated, all with a 99% quality rating. There are 108 people who are blind working in the CMS program today, along with 19 service-disabled veterans and nine wounded warriors. In addition, 128 CMS employees have been recruited into full-time positions with government or private-sector employers.
These highly skilled professionals who are blind are proud to support our country by providing critical services to federal agencies as they build meaningful careers. The CMS services program has proven itself as a win-win for government and people who are blind.