EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. — A cozy ceremony was held inside the Base Supply Center May 19 where 412th Mission Support Group leadership joined BSC employees and executives of IB Express to celebrate the company’s 20 years of service to the military and for their role in promoting opportunities for the sight-impaired and people with other disabilities.
The I.B. in IB Express stands for Industries for the Blind. For the past two decades, the company has run AbilityOne Base Supply Centers across the country, including the one here on Edwards. Today, IB Express operates 152 BSCs.
The AbilityOne Program is a federal initiative to help people who are blind, or have other significant disabilities, find employment by working within a network of more than 600 nonprofit agencies that sell products and services to the U.S. government.
“They (BSC’s) are much more than just an office supply store, they are part of our community,” said C.J. Lange, IB Express chief executive officer. “Over the years, the BSC program has succeeded in providing thousands of jobs for people who are blind and severely disabled. Many of these are local residents who would otherwise have few opportunities for employment.”
Lange also said BSC’s employ many retired military, dependents and wounded warriors.
The BSC on Edwards has been operating for 13 years and has four employees.
Government Purchase Card holders can buy office and building supplies, along with uniforms and military accessories for their unit or office.
“We are a one-stop shop and our goal is to serve our customers in any way possible,” said Patricia Kondrotas, Edwards BSC store manager.
Lange presented Kondrotas with a coin and a 20-year anniversary plaque for the store. She spoke about how her employees really love working at the BSC and how she has had to open up the store several late nights to ensure Airmen got the proper supplies before their deployment the next day.
“We’re here to support the Airmen and the base, and when you shop here, you’re helping a great program out that creates jobs for disabled people and even wounded warriors,” said Kondrotas.
To learn more about the AbilityOne Program, or to buy supplies for your office, visit the BSC at 115 Gregorius Ave., Bldg. 3736 Door 9.
Call 661-258-9422 for any questions about the BSC and its merchandise.