The Randolph-Sheppard Act is the most successful public works program in the country. It's created thousands of blind entrepreneurs nationwide. But now things are changing......
It began many decades ago as card tables in the basements of Federal Buildings...to give the blind shelter from the elements and allow them to sell gum and candy to the employees. With limited choices, the blind vendors made the most of their opportunities...and over the years they began expanding.
In 1936 the Randolph-Sheppard Act gave legal priority to visually impaired persons for the operation of onsite concessions in federally controlled facilities. With the assistance of this act, blind vendors began operating Snack Bars, Vending Machines, Full Cafeterias, Roadside Rest Areas and Military Mess Halls.
But in the last several decades, things have begun to change.
With large scale government downsizing...these opportunities have begun to die.
Today, a visually disabled person who goes through training with a government agency is devastated when the opportunity never happens. When a location is closed...all of the employees, blind or not, lose their jobs...affecting those families. And, the blind entrepreneur and his own family suffers - for the success of these businesses often require the whole family's participation.
In the 1980s there were over 5400 blind vendors running government foodservice. Today there are less than 2300. With limited entrepreneurial and work choices, the situation for the blind is dire. Struggling families are losing all they have, and time is running out.
But there is a solution. If the blind can take what they already do, and bring it to the public in the form of operating franchises, they can continue on a path of growth. We have numerous franchise companies that are ready to lend their support to this cause. Get2Work works with blind entrepreneurs and franchise companies to establish franchises for the visually disabled. Get2Work is uniquely using private sector - not government - solutions to help the blind overcome 74% unemployment. In addition, blind employers have traditionally employed a higher percentage of disabled individuals in their businesses...helping to create valuable and meaningful careers for these individuals. Additionally, each new franchise owner participates in a give-back program that helps support the next blind entrepreneur.
Thank you very much for your time and attention...and hopefully your support for this worthy cause.
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Get2Work is founded by Bob and Karina Matuszak - a family that has walked this path personally. A family that has struggled through these difficulties - to develop a better way.
Karina specializes in business startups with a strong emphasis on marketing. She has worked alongside Bob when needed and also has been a professional artist since 2006.
Bob has worked for 15 years providing food service to the employees of the Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center and the Centers for Disease Control. He was the Chairman for the Georgia Committee of Blind vendors for 6 years.