GDIT and National Industries for the Blind Partner to Deliver Results, Resilience

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The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is celebrating its 30th anniversary on July 26, 2020. GDIT is commemorating this milestone throughout the month of July. This story celebrates our commitment to supplier and contractor diversity.

When the GDIT Contracts & Acquisition Management Organization (CAMO) team needed contract labor to assist with contract closeouts, data cleansing and contract novation, CAMO Vice President Darryl Scott knew just where to turn. Darryl had worked alongside contract employees from the National Industries for the Blind (NIB) since the early 1990s and he was eager to do so again.

The NIB is the nation’s largest employment resource for people who are blind. In its more than 80 years in existence, it has created employment opportunities for the visually impaired in nearly every sector of the American economy. NIB and its network of associated agencies employ nearly 6,000 blind men and women, including military veterans, across more than 250 locations nationwide. Together, NIB and its partners produce thousands of products and deliver a variety of professional services for the federal government and U.S. military every year.

It’s no surprise that they’re on GDIT’s subcontractor list, and when Darryl found them there, he quickly worked to bring NIB team members onto his project. “Partnering with NIB is a classic case of doing well by doing good,” he said.

And that may be an understatement. NIB team members, including those from its partner, VisionCorps, quickly got to work on the CAMO project. In a few short weeks they’d closed more than 1,500 contracts, undertaken a data cleansing effort impacting more than 1,300 active contracts in our Salesforce database, and are supporting CAMO’s efforts to novate more than 1,300 active contracts and more than 200 inactive ones. They team has been so effective that they’ve been asked to continue to provide the contract labor for these projects through the end of 2020.

CAMO’s Senior Director, Janetta Brewer, is beyond thrilled with the team’s performance. She says, “The NIB/VisionCorps team has been the epitome of resilience since the start of the contract. The COVID-19 pandemic prevented the work from being performed onsite as originally intended so we had to transition to a remote work setup. The team demonstrated a great deal of patience as we worked to ship IT equipment to them, grant the appropriate network/systems access, meet their assistive technology needs and provide them with online training. They work well with our CAMO team members and have provided work of the highest quality.”

“…innovations can only happen when we come together. Our inclusivity is a core part of the results we bring, not just to our clients, but to the world.” – GDIT Mission Statement

By partnering with a diverse cross section of suppliers, subcontractors and businesses, GDIT is living out its commitment to inclusion – and seeing tremendous results for the business as well. This project between CAMO and NIB is just one way we’re doing that.

For their part, the NIB contractors are happy to take on this new challenge. One of them, Dominic Zappone, said, “It’s exciting to work with new people and talk to them on a daily basis. We’re learning every day how to work within their systems too. GDIT personnel have been super helpful. Any questions or concerns we’ve had, they have jumped right on it and helped us right away. The team has been extra accommodating and have gone out of their way to make sure we are all on the right track.”

Contractor Tanee Wall was pleased to learn more about contracts in general and the opportunity to use what she’s learned on this project in other endeavors saying, “The GDIT initiative has broadened our contracting knowledge.”

Janellen Anskis, a contractor with VisionCorps summed up the spirit of this GDIT/NIB partnership, saying, “I’m honored and excited to be part of the GDIT team. I welcome the opportunity and embrace the challenge of this innovative process. The patience and understanding of the GDIT staff have made this a such a positive experience. As an employee who is blind, this partnership with GDIT is an endeavor that will take VisionCorps and my professional growth to new heights.”

We’re grateful for the support and partnership of all of our suppliers, and also for AbilityOne, a program that uses the purchasing power of the Federal government to buy products and services from participating nonprofit agencies that train and employ workers with disabilities, including NIB.