3M Ear Plugs Added to AbilityOne Commission's Procurement List

The company has entered into a co-branding agreement with New Dynamics Corporation that means more than 20 employees, some of whom have disabilities, will assemble, package, and distribute five 3M hearing protection products.

3M has entered into a co-branding agreement with New Dynamics Corporation that means more than 20 employees, some of whom have disabilities, will assemble, package, and distribute five 3M hearing protection products through its government and commercial contracts. The five products have been added to the U.S. AbilityOne Commission's Federal Procurement List (FPL), effective Sept. 3, 2012, to help protect military personnel who are exposed to high noise levels:

  • NSN: 6515-01-576-8837 – Combat Arms Earplug, Single Ended, Size Small
  • NSN: 6515-01-576-8861 – Combat Arms Earplug, Single Ended, Size Medium
  • NSN: 6515-01-576-8869 – Combat Arms Earplug, Single Ended, Size Large
  • NSN: 6515-01-466-2710 – Combat Arms Earplug, Dual Ended, Universal Size
  • NSN: 6515-01-576-8796 – Yellow Skull Screws Earplug, Single Ended, Universal Size

"Military personnel are exposed to excessive noise levels during combat and training on a variety of land, air and sea missions," said Walter Pawlowski, vice president of business development for New Dynamics. "This noise exposure has led many personnel to experience hearing loss and tinnitus, which is currently the number one service-related disability for veterans."

According to 3M, the Combat Arms Earplugs provide hear-through capabilities, which enable military personnel to hear low-level sounds such as footsteps or spoken commands while protecting against damaging impulse noise from explosions or firearms, while Yellow Skull Screws earplugs provide high attenuation, easy insertion, and compliance with Foreign Objects and Debris requirements in proximity with military aircraft and flight lines.

The U.S. AbilityOne Commission, a federal agency, administers the AbilityOne Program, which provides employment opportunities for more than 50,000 people who are blind or have significant disabilities. The program uses the purchasing power of the federal government to buy products and services from nonprofit agencies dedicated to training and employing individuals with disabilities.

New Dynamics works with NISH, a national nonprofit agency whose mission is to create employment opportunities for people with significant disabilities by securing federal contracts through the AbilityOne Program. "People with disabilities are the nation"s largest untapped labor force, and nearly 80 percent of these individuals do not have jobs," said NISH President and CEO Bob Chamberlin. "It is our mission to help secure work for people with disabilities, and it is particularly fitting that we work with New Dynamics and 3M as their hearing protection products and services can help reduce the number of hearing-related disabilities within the military and other at-risk populations."

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