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The Texas Purchasing from People with Disabilities program is dedicated to furthering the state’s policy of encouraging and assisting persons with disabilities to achieve maximum personal independence by engaging in useful, productive employment activities. Under the program, individuals with varying levels of disabilities produce products or perform services through a Community Rehabilitation Program as part of Works Wonders, commonly referred to as the State Use program. Formerly under the direction of the Texas Council on Purchasing from People with Disabilities, legislation passed by the 84th Texas Legislature transferred oversight of the program to the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC).
Works Wonders was implemented in 1978 by the Texas Legislature to enhance the lives of people with disabilities by offering opportunities for employment. The program provides products or services through Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRPs) that are purchased by city, county, state or federal agencies, schools and political subdivisions.
In the 25 years since its successful implementation, Works Wonders continues to set new marks for the number of Texans with disabilities employed. In the past year $24 million in wages were paid to individuals in the program for their work on state and local government contracts.
TWC has the statutory authority to oversee the Works Wonders program. TWC contracts with a Central Nonprofit Agency (CNA) to administer the day-to-day operations of the program. Since 1978, TIBH Industries has been contracted as the CNA by the state of Texas.
Statutory and contractual responsibilities of a CNA include:
Community Rehabilitation Programs are community-based government entities or nonprofit private organizations operated under criteria established by TWC as stated in Texas Administrative Code, Title 40, Chapter 806.13. Products and services offered by CRPs through Works Wonders are available to municipalities, school districts, universities, and to the general public. Approximately 160 Community Rehabilitation Programs participate in Works Wonders throughout the state.
State law requires agencies to purchase from Works Wonders unless the needed products or services meet certain exceptions. Agencies should report exceptions based upon amounts encumbered for purchases whenever a purchase order is issued. State agencies may purchase outside the mandatory purchasing provisions of the Works Wonders Program under the following exceptions.