A picture of Representative Gerald E. Connolly
Gerald C.
Democrat VA 11

About Rep. Gerald
  • Recognizing Paul Plattner’s Career of Creating Work Opportunities for People With Disabilities

    by Representative Gerald E. Connolly

    Posted on 2013-01-25

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    CONNOLLY of virginia in the house of representatives Friday, January 25, 2013 Mr. CONNOLLY. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize Mr. Paul Plattner on the occasion of his retirement after 39 years of service to NISH and the AbilityOne Program, through which he has helped identify and create work opportunities for the blind and for people with disabilities here and in communities across America.

    Mr. Plattner began his career at NISH in 1974, working as a part-time bookkeeper two and a half days a month. It wasn't long before he advanced from that humble beginning to take on a number of other roles and duties, currently serving as Vice President for Operations. He has worked directly with, and earned the respect of, staff in every major federal agency. He also has developed close working relationships with community rehabilitation programs across the Nation.

    Under the Javits-Wagner-O'Day Act, the AbilityOne Program harnesses the purchasing power of the Federal Government to buy products and services from community-based nonprofits that train and employ individuals who are blind or have significant disabilities. Whether it is performing custodial services, packing medical kits for our troops, working in food service or one of many other duties, AbilityOne workers are making a positive difference in our community. I and many of my colleagues here in the House, both Democrat and Republican, are AbilityOne Champions, and we know firsthand the positive effect this program has not only for the individuals and their families, but also for us as well.

    Mr. Plattner has dedicated his life's work to helping provide residents with disabilities in every community with the opportunity to learn new skills, to succeed in a workplace environment, and to gain greater independence and quality of life. Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to join me in thanking Mr. Plattner for his heartfelt commitment to improving the lives of those with disabilities and in wishing him well in his retirement.


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