Melwood Expands Job Opportunities for People with Disabilities
April 26, 2011
UPPER MARLBORO, MD, April 26, 2011 – Melwood, one of the leading nonprofit organizations in Maryland serving people with disabilities, today announces two new government contracts recently awarded to the organization which will result in approximately 170 new jobs, more than 60 of which will be for people with disabilities. The contracts, with the U.S. Coast Guard Yard (USCG), Curtis Bay in Baltimore and Base Operations Support (BOS) at Fort George G. Meade (FGGM), will also provide unique work opportunities for Melwood employees and enable the nonprofit to expand its reach to veterans with disabilities for the first time. In addition, this is the first time Melwood has been awarded a total facilities management contract at a military base.
“We are thrilled to be hiring and filling such a large number of job opportunities for people living with disabilities in the state of Maryland,” said Janice Frey-Angel, president and CEO of Melwood. “These contracts also expand Melwood’s presence in supporting other branches of the armed services, as historically we’ve had a significant relationship with the U.S. Navy. Together with these existing federal contracts, Melwood will now provide more than 870 jobs for people with disabilities — an amazing opportunity.”
Of additional significance is that for the first time, these particular contracts are participating in the AbilityOne program. The Program was created as a result of the Javits-Wagner-O’Day Act of 1971, and encourages federal agencies to contract with approved nonprofits to purchase products and services and employ to individuals with disabilities. This legislation has enabled thousands of people nationwide to become employed taxpayers, providing valuable services in their communities.
Melwood has already started the recruiting process for both contracts, looking at graduates of its vocational training program on its campus and working with its partner agencies throughout the region such as the ARCs, Goodwill of Chesapeake, League for People with Disabilities and Jewish Family Services to name a few. In addition, for the first time, Melwood will be partnering with organizations that serve veterans with disabilities such as Veteran Affairs offices, Maryland Center for Veterans Education and Training (MCVET) and the Warrior Transition Units (WTU) at area bases.
The custodial contract with USCG Yard at Curtis Bay in Baltimore is set to begin June 1 and Melwood employees will be responsible for cleaning nearly 200,000 square feet of the facilities as well as some of the ships, a first for the organization. Specifically, Melwood employees will be cleaning the cutters as they leave the Yard, a one-two week process. They expect to clean at least 10 a year. Melwood will provide specialized training in safety and technical considerations to their employees working on the ships.
The contract with the Directorate of Public Works, Base Operation Support (BOS) at Fort George G. Meade, MD, begins July 1 and employees will focus on landscaping for more than 5,000 acres (including a cemetery) and facility management technical work, much of which will be ideally suited for veterans with disabilities. In addition, because of the Base Closure and Realignment (BRAC) growth, there may be additional job opportunities in the future.
Melwood is a 501(c)(3) organization that helps create opportunities for people with disabilities. Since 1963, Melwood has been enhancing the lives of thousands of people in the capital region through career training, job placement, individual support and recreation. Specifically, more than 870 Melwood employees with disabilities work through the AbilityOne Program, which pairs federal agencies with approved organizations to provide employment opportunities for people with disabilities. In addition, Melwood places and supports over 160 individuals with employers in the community. In 2010, Melwood employees with disabilities, otherwise eligible to receive government benefits, earned $13 million and paid $2.7 million in taxes. For more information, visit Melwood on Facebook or at www.melwood.org.
Melwood is one of the largest employers of people with disabilities in the country, employing more than 1,600 workers – nearly 1,000 of whom are people with disabilities. Melwood offers job placement, job training, life skills for independence, and support services to more than 2,500 people each year in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Melwood also has an inclusive summer camp program for children and provides employment and support services to veterans and active duty military members who have experienced service-related trauma or injury. For more information, visit www.Melwood.org.
Vice President of Government and Public Relations