PDQ Manufacturing and VisionCorps Launch SKILCRAFT® Door Hardware Assembled by People Who Are Blind

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Door Hardware Products Available Under AbilityOne® Program

Providing meaningful employment to people who are severely sight impaired has a special place for me

PDQ Manufacturing of Leola, Pennsylvania has been selected as an AbilityOne Enterprise Partner by the National Industries for the Blind (NIB) to offer a full line of door and security hardware assembled by people who are blind.

The products are available for purchase through the AbilityOne® Program—a federal government program that creates jobs for people who are blind or have significant disabilities. All of the products carry the PDQ/SKILCRAFT® co-brand, which stands for quality products made by people who are blind. SKILCRAFT® is a registered trademark owned and licensed by NIB, the nation’s largest employment resource for people who are blind.

Under the new partnership, PDQ supplies components, and the finished products are assembled by people who are blind employed by VisionCorps of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. VisionCorps is an NIB-associated non-profit agency dedicated to provide employment for people who are blind or have other disabilities. VisionCorps has been producing sub-assemblies for PDQ over the last several years. Expanding to fulfill increasing demand, these products will be finished in VisionCorps’ newly renovated Philadelphia location, which deploys ISO 9002 processes, and PDQ’s strict quality-assurance system.

The 90 PDQ/Skilcraft co-branded door hardware products, each having been assigned National Stock Numbers (NSNs), are ANSI/BHMA Certified to Grade 1 standards and carry a listing with Underwriters Laboratories. They include mortise locks, cylindrical locks, exit devices, door closers, and stand-alone electronic keypad locks. These products have been added to the federal government AbilityOne Procurement List, which includes a broad offering of mandatory-source products and services used by federal agencies. Products identified on the AbilityOne Procurement List are mandatory source purchases for federal agencies and contractors performing services at federally controlled and managed facilities. This would include new construction and major renovation projects, and MRO repair-replacement needs.

As a mandatory use product under the AbilityOne program, FAR 52.208-9 Contractor Use of Mandatory Sources of Supply or Services, provides the regulatory framework requiring contracting officers to manage full compliance. As noted in the Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017, for Fiscal Year 2015, the Department of Defense spent over $2.3 billion through the AbilityOne program.

“We are very excited about being a part of this program and are fully committed to seeing it grow to its fullest potential” said Bill Tell, Founder-President and CEO of PDQ. “Providing meaningful employment to people who are severely sight impaired has a special place for me."

“Door hardware products like these have never before been available through the AbilityOne program, so this is truly groundbreaking,” said Cheryl Colella-Gehrke, PDQ’s Director of Business Development. “I’ve been involved in the AbilityOne program for over 15 years and I feel blessed with this special opportunity to help provide jobs to people who are blind in the Philadelphia area.”

Collella-Gehrke is PDQ’s contact person for all information, requests and applications related to the AbilityOne program. She may be reached at (717) 656-4281 or cherylgehrke(at)pdqlocks(dot)com.

“Seventy percent of people who are blind or vision-impaired are not employed,” said Dennis Steiner, VisionCorps CEO and President. “At VisionCorps, we are proud to partner with manufacturers like PDQ in hopes of changing that statistic. We’re excited to start producing yet another quality product and creating more jobs for people who might otherwise be unable to work.”

Having been selected by NIB as their AbilityOne Enterprise Partner for door hardware, PDQ has assembled a team to work directly with federal agencies such as the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), General Services Administration (GSA), Veterans Administration and Army Corps of Engineers. They will consult and advise procurement officers and contract administrators to inform them of this recent addition of these door hardware products to the Procurement List, and how to maintain regulatory compliance. In addition, they will also coordinate regulatory compliance with general contractors, architectural firms, specification writers and facility maintenance contractors. This team is headed by Colella-Gehrke and by Gerald Wilcox, PDQ’s newly appointed Vice President.

“I am very excited to be a part of this ground floor opportunity,” said Wilcox. “Using my years of experience in the construction products industry will contribute to this venture exceeding our most optimistic forecasts.”

About PDQ Manufacturing
Family owned and managed for over 33 years, PDQ has maintained its commitment to remain independent as a market leader, introducing cutting edge, innovative products and setting the
standard for service, quality and value. Based in central Pennsylvania, PDQ serves its customers with a world class offering of in-house engineered and manufacturing commercial-grade mortise locks, cylindrical locks, door closers, exit devices, flat goods, stand-alone electronic locks and electronic access control devices. “We’re one of the few remaining door hardware manufacturers still family that offers that personal touch and independence that the larger, multi-national corporate conglomerates have difficultly matching. And that family spirit is what were able to relate to when serving our many, still family owned distributers,” said Bill Tell, Founder, President and CEO of PDQ Manufacturing. Built to exceed industry standards, PDQ’s products offer an exceptional value, quality, visual appeal and long service life, backed by the best warranty in the industry. Typical delivery is 1-3 days, with distribution centers in Kansas City, Mo., Auburn, Wash., and Salt Lake City, Utah.

About VisionCorps
VisionCorps serves 2,000 individuals who are blind or vision impaired in Lancaster, Lebanon, Berks and Chester counties, as well as the Philadelphia region, through rehabilitation services and/or employment opportunities. VisionCorps also houses the Steinman Eye Clinic, providing diagnostic eye care services at a need-based minimal charge.

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Bob Hasty