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Base employee receives Department of Labor award

By PAO | | February 18, 2010

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John Hoffpauir, facility manager, Public Works Branch, Installation and Environment Division, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, received an award from the Department of Labor for his work with the AbilityOne program during a ceremony held Jan. 26. The ceremony was held at I & E Division in Building 2200.

The award is given to those for outstanding support in providing jobs for people with severe disabilities through federal contracts.

AbilityOne is a program that employs people with disabilities who would not otherwise be employed and returns them to the workforce as a capable tax-paying employee.

For the past 20 years, Hoffpauir has contributed significantly to the program while serving as project manager and now facility manager for MCLB Albany.

According to Hoffpauir, originally from New Orleans, he does not consider this award as a personal award.

“The award is really for the Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany. This is a team effort award. The base has been very supportive of this program and similar programs. The base has been, numerous times, in the top two or three disability employer in Southwest Georgia, which in itself is prestigious,” said Hoffpauir, who is responsible for maintaining the infrastructure of the base. “To me it is rewarding knowing that we are getting good quality service for the base and we are giving people a chance to work that otherwise would not have an opportunity to work.”

The Department of Labor supports the National Institute of the Severely Handicapped which the Department of Defense, specifically MCLB Albany, uses to provide custodial and grass cutting services.

“The neat thing about AbilityOne, Goodwill and Powerworks is that they actually employ the unemployable. They basically take people with disabilities that would otherwise not have a job and turn them into tax contributors. During my time with them, we have affected more than a thousand people which means there is an additional thousand tax payers in South Georgia that we would not have had in the past,” said Hoffpauir, who has worked for the Marine Corps for nearly 40 years.

According to Hoffpauir, most businesses want to grow their business, but for Goodwill and Powerworks, it’s the opposite.

“One of their main mission goals is to move employees out of their system. Basically if someone goes to work for Powerworks, their ultimate goal is to put the employee through an extensive training program and learn a trade skill so they can graduate in to the local economy. We help them do that,” he said.

Currently the base has two AbilityOne contracts through the non-profit agency Powerworks. The largest is the base-wide custodial services contract that employs approximately 70 people with disabilities.

The other contract is for grounds maintenance services which provides work for 15 more people with disabilities.

“John’s award demonstrates his personal commitment, and as he is quick to point out, our entire team’s commitment, to our partnership with NISH,” said Fred R. Broome, director, I & E. “The success of this partnership is evidenced by the quality of work the contractor performs for us daily in just about every facility on this base.

“This work has been, and continues to be accomplished demonstrating the core values of NISH - excellence, innovation, accountability, diversity, collaboration and integrity,” Broome said. “John’s extra efforts, as well as those of our public works facility support contracts section and Powerworks management team, have provided an important service to the base population and done so while creating job opportunities for people with severe disabilities.”

“AbilityOne meets my organization’s goals of providing a safe and healthy workplace,” Hoffpauir said. “Being involved with the program is a win-win situation. It provides mission accomplishment, personal satisfaction and jobs for people who need and appreciate them.”

For Hoffpauir, pursuing AbilityOne contracts means more than just providing his employer with qualified workers.

“I believe we are measured by what we give, and I’m extremely proud that my immediate organization feels that way as well,” Hoffpauir said.


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