HOUSTON – President Joe Biden announced Friday the appointment of several individuals to the U.S. AbilityOne Commission, including Houston Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities Director Gabe Cazares.

The Commission administers the AbilityOne Program which supports employment for over 42,000 individuals who are blind or have significant disabilities.

“I am grateful to President Biden and his administration for recognizing our strong talent and commitment in the City of Houston. Gabe Cazares is a passionate advocate on issues related to the disability community, and is always willing to roll up his sleeves to create, plan and execute successful programs for the community,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “I know in my heart that he will work effectively for President Biden while maintaining a strong presence locally for over 215,000 Houstonians with disabilities.”

“I am deeply honored to be appointed by President Biden to serve on the U.S. AbilityOne Commission,” said Cazares. “My professional career has focused on advancing the full integration of blind and other people with disabilities in every aspect of community life, including education, employment, and civic engagement. Government contracting can and must incentivize the recruitment, retention, and promotion of workers with significant disabilities in integrated environments across all industries. I am privileged to work towards these goals daily under Mayor Turner’s leadership, and I look forward to sharing my expertise at the national level while continuing to serve our local disability community.”

The AbilityOne Program was established in 1938 and is administered by the U.S. Ability One Commission. The Commission consists of 15 Presidential appointees, of which 11 represent federal agencies and four are private citizens. The Commission’s mission is to provide employment opportunities for people who are blind or have significant disabilities. The Commission operates through 2 central nonprofit agencies and a network of 500 nonprofit agencies in communities across the country. In the fiscal year 2020, the Commission supplied nearly $4 billion in products and services to the Federal Government.

Cazares is one of four private citizen commissioners appointed to the Commission, all experienced in improving employment outcomes for people with disabilities. The other private citizen appointees are Bryan Bashin, Christina Brandt, and Chai Rachel Feldblum.