by Morgan Montalvo
1200 WOAI News Radio
CPS Energy has awarded a three-year office supply contract valued at more than $1 million to San Antonio's Lighthouse for the Blind and Vision Impaired.
The Lighthouse for decades has sold office supplies to the U.S. government and military under the name "Skilcraft," and also manufactures uniforms for the U.S. Army.
The CPS Energy deal, says Lighthouse vice-president for sales Johnette Lee, is the non-profit's largest local contract.
The Lighthouse, she says, has smaller contracts with VIA Metropolitan Transit and San Antonio Water System.
Lee says the contract benefits the Lighthouse's nearly 500 employees and also will help fund job training and independent-living programs for about 4,500 other visually impaired people in San Antonio.
"We have a children's program," Lee says, "a technology program for work-ready individuals, and a seniors program for those older folks who may be losing their sight."The Lighthouse receives no government funding, Lee added.
CPS Energy spokesperson Nora Castro says the contract offers value added to both customer and supplier.
"They have great products and they offered some really good solutions for us, so it only makes sense to go with a local business," Castro says.
For 17-year Lighthouse employee Raul Gamez, the contract represents opportunity for current and future workers among the city's vision-impaired population.
"It provides jobs and keeps things on the local level, and I really, really think that that's great, and I hope that other companies will think about doing something like this," Gamez says.
Photo by Morgan Montalvo