US Census Rubber Band Contract

August 5, 2020

An employee using the rubberband machine.

If you noticed a rubber band when you filled out this year’s US Census, we had a hand on that band. The rubber bands are part of the AbilityOne program, meaning that we have the rights to sell this product to the federal government. Mike Blake, the product manager for the rubber bands, oversaw progress on the contract.

The contract requires 5,000, 1-pound bags to ship to the Census per week. That means that our Central Industries production team handles 1,000 bags per-day. In total, CABVI will ship over 39 million individual rubber bands by the time the contract ends.

“The credit really goes to our production and warehouse as far as getting the product produced and out the door on time,” Blake said. “Since all of the bands are packed by hand, we rely solely on the production staff to pack them, weigh them, and seal them in the boxes.”

Without the assistance of the Central Industries staff, whom most are blind or visually impaired, it would be impossible to keep up with the order. Blake also notes that the shipping department was a vital part in making sure the rubber bands were sent on time and were inspected prior to shipment.

“Our shipping department is crucial to CABVI’s business model since our state and federal contracts are very precise with their requirements.” said Blake. “Along with making sure we are shipping to the right customer, we also have to ensure we are shipping the appropriate product.”

While the contract is only for the 2020 census, Blake believes that the contract will return due to how effectively we shipped our product along with owning the rights to the rubber band.