ALTON - In celebration of Military Appreciation Month, Challenge Unlimited (CU) is thrilled to announce that their esteemed partners at Scott Air Force Base (Scott AFB) have been honored with the prestigious SourceAmerica Military Customer Award. This distinguished accolade is a testament to a military customer's commitment to providing opportunities and fostering an inclusive workforce through their support of the AbilityOne® Program. The partnership with CU has been instrumental in creating employment opportunities for veterans and individuals with disabilities in the Metro-East.

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Last week, the honor was presented at an Award Banquet hosted by SourceAmerica in Orlando, Florida, to Lt. Col. Trina Bentley on behalf of Colonel John Poole, Installation Commander of the Scott AFB 375th Air Mobility Wing. This recognition underscores the significant impact of the partnership between Scott AFB and Challenge Unlimited on the community. As the largest employer in Southwest Illinois, Scott AFB, through AbilityOne® contracts and a 30-year collaboration with Challenge Unlimited, has created over 1,300 jobs for people with disabilities in the community. These employees, our community members, play a crucial role in providing essential services to the men and women who serve our country and their families, including dining services, grounds maintenance, commissary, and custodial services.

In her acceptance speech, Lt. Col. Bentley, emphasized the base's significant role in supporting over 13,000 personnel and housing 47,000 family members and retired veterans. She highlighted the critical support provided by 131 Challenge Unlimited employees, stating, 'These behind-the-scenes professionals offer world-class support to our joint warfighting team. Our partnership with Challenge Unlimited not only empowers underserved Americans with confidence and career opportunities but also strengthens our community through lasting social connections.' Her words reflect the personal impact of the partnership and the recognition on the Scott AFB community.

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"The food service contract at Scott was our first federal contract," said Charlotte Hammond, President and CEO of Challenge Unlimited, "We are proud of this partnership and of the work we do for individuals living with disabilities to be gainfully employed in their community. Without partnerships like the one we have with Scott Air Force Base; we wouldn't be able to fulfill our mission." CU now has federal contracts in six states and employs over nine hundred individuals, many of them with disabilities. If you would like to become a partner or know someone seeking employment, please visit or call (618)465-0044.

About AbilityOne

The AbilityOne® Program, a cornerstone of our efforts, is one of the nation's most significant sources of employment for people who are blind or have significant disabilities. For almost 50 years, through non-profit partnerships, the program has connected people with disabilities to meaningful jobs through contracts with the federal government and private sector. This program, which we are proud to be a part of, not only provides employment but also fosters a sense of inclusion and belonging in our community.

About Challenge Unlimited

For more than 50 years Challenge Unlimited has operated as a social enterprise, committed to serving individuals with disabilities, while earning a reputation as a trusted business partner to private commercial companies and federal and state government agencies. As an accredited Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP) provider, Challenge Unlimited fulfills its mission through employment programs and services, skills training centers and community-integrated living options. To learn more, and follow Challenge Unlimited onFacebook, andLinkedIn.

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