In 2020 we celebrated the 25th Anniversary of National Industries for the Blind (NIB)’s AbilityOne Base Supply Center (BSC) program. BSCs are retail stores located on military installations where military members and contractors are able to pick up needed supplies. These supplies include military uniforms, office and janitorial products, furniture, and specialty items. More importantly, the BSCs are Lighthouse locations where people who are blind, DeafBlind, and blind with other disabilities are employed and assist the military in accomplishing their mission. The Lighthouse launched our first BSC in 1999 with a store in Fallon, NV, and we subsequently opened several additional stores in Washington and California. We employ over fifteen people who are blind or visually impaired at our BSCs, with more positions expected to accompany additional stores opening in the upcoming year. Employees who are legally blind hold positions such as District Manager, Receiving Clerk, Purchasing Specialist, and Retail Sales Associate.
In 2021, the Lighthouse will open the Coast Guard BSC in Seattle, WA and two new stores in coordination with General Services Administration to support the Navy in California. This growth marks a milestone for both the Lighthouse and NIB.