IFB Solutions loses 47 jobs in Winston-Salem as VA ends optical contract

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The Department of Veterans Affairs ended the first of three optical contracts with IFB Solutions, effectively eliminating 47 positions Tuesday at the nonprofit agency in Winston-Salem.

IFB said in a press release that they had hoped to maintain the contract by filing one last motion in Federal Claims Court requesting a stay of contracting action by the VA until its protest with the U.S. Government Accountability Office can be heard.

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IFB Solutions in Winston-Salem petitions Supreme Court after losing first government contract, forced to cut 47 jobs

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — IFB Solutions has lost the first of three critical government contracts, forcing the company to cut 47 jobs at the nonprofit, but the company intends to take this fight to the Supreme Court.

The Winston-Salem-based company, which touts itself as the largest employer of people who are blind in the country, said 137 jobs are on the chopping block after a policy change at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs meant the V.A. would not renew its contracts with IFB.

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Triad IFB veterans, disabled employees left in limbo as VA contract battle continues

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. —The countdown is running out for dozens of Triad employees.

IFB Solutions faces a battle with the Department of Veteran Affairs over a recent policy change that favors giving contracts to veteran-owned businesses. IFB Solution, the nation’s largest employer of people who are blind or visually impaired, is not veteran-owned but does employ veterans, including those who are blind and visually impaired.

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4th Bingo for Bags bash to benefit IFB Solutions

The IFB Solutions facility at 69th and Murray streets in Little Rock covers 78,000 square feet. It is where blind and visually impaired workers produce clothing and accessories for the military as well as spiral-bound notebooks and other paper products.

A tiny portion of that nearly 80,000 square feet is a closet-size room just to the right of the building’s front door.

This space is the Community Low Vision Center, which sells devices such as talking clocks and timers, reading machines, canes, dark glasses and other items to IFB workers and the public.

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Educating the community about living visually impaired, Bluefield

CITY OF BLUEFIELD, W.Va (WVVA) – The Bluefield West Virginia Lions Club hosted a guest speaker who’s blind, to educate the community about challenges faced by those who are visually impaired.

Chris Flynt is a graduate of Bluefield State College and the director of IFB Solutions Programs, a company that provides help for the visually impaired with services such as employment.

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IFB Solutions files protest of VA contract decision, gains second reprieve

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – The optical laboratory at IFB Solutions Inc. has gained a second extension of a federal contract that was set to expire Thursday.

The contract, one of three that the Winston-Salem nonprofit has with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, affects 47 employees. The contract initially was set to expire July 31, but was extended by 15 days. It is now set to expire Aug. 31.

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Department of Veterans Affairs Expands Contract With IFB Solutions In Winston-Salem

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The Department of Veterans Affairs is holding off on plans to end its optical contract with IFB Solutions in Winston-Salem.

The non-profit makes about 1,200 eyeglasses a day and employs many people with disabilities. The non-profit was at risk of losing its contract with the department of veterans affairs following a court decision on the “rule of two.” That policy stipulates the Veterans Affair must give precedence awarding contracts to veteran-owned small businesses over other programs like theirs, called ability one.

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Legal dispute over VA set-asides could force W-S factory to fire blind workers

Navy veteran Scott Smith went to bed on a Friday night. When he awoke the next morning he was blind.

Scott, who was a welder, suffers from optic neuropathy, which cost him his vision.

He was afraid he’d never work again.

But for the past four years, Smith has worked in an optical factory in Winston-Salem, handling the machines that put scratch-resistant coating on glasses for veterans.

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