Superintendent's Memo #306-09

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

October 30, 2009

TO: Division Superintendents

FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Utilization of Employment Services Organizations to Purchase Goods and Services

In recognition of National Disability Awareness Month, the Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services (DRS) recently honored the Department of General Services (DGS) for outstanding practices in hiring, accommodating, and supporting workers with disabilities. For the last three years, DGS has worked with Employment Services Organizations across the state to promote their services and recently awarded a large manufacturing contract to Vector Industries in Waynesboro, which will create jobs for Virginians with significant disabilities.

The Department of Rehabilitative Services is the state agency that provides and advocates for the highest quality of services that help Virginians with disabilities maximize their employment, independence, and full inclusion into society. DRS would like to commend your attention to a special section in the Virginia Public Procurement Act that, under certain circumstances, allows local school systems to purchase goods or services from nonprofit organizations that employ Virginians with disabilities without using the competitive procurement process.

Numerous nonprofit organizations across the Commonwealth have resources to provide goods and services to local school systems. These organizations offer a wide range of services that

For a list of Employment Services Organizations and the services they offer, visit http://www.doe.virginia.gov/home_files/leaving/redirect.cfm?url=http://www.vadrs.org/essp/esolist.asp. It is very likely that you can find one of these organizations in your own locality.

You are encouraged to contact Jim Rothrock, DRS commissioner by telephone at (804) 662-7010 or via e-mail at Jim.Rothrock@drs.virginia.gov to learn more about how your school system can get exceptional goods and services while offering a Virginian with a disability an opportunity to enter our Commonwealth's work force.

PIW/hdc