IFB Beat – Week of May 30, 2023

A Message from the Editor

On Memorial Day we honor military personnel who have died while serving in the United States armed forces. To those who gave the ultimate sacrifice – thank you.

With the Monday holiday, this shorter week is still a busy one! See updates below about LeanIT launching in the Winston-Salem ACS department and a Winston Walkers event. Don’t forget to apply for the Tina Bess and Daniel J. Boucher Scholarship program. Also note several open positions in our BSC division – if you know someone who is blind or visually impaired in West Point, NY or Annapolis, MD who might be a good fit to work in a BSC Store, encourage them to apply.

Have a great week!

Anastasia Powell

IFB Solutions Communications Manager

apowell@ifbsolutions.org | 336-245-5698

Quick Links:

New this Week

Winston-Salem Facility – LeanIT Update
See what S.E.E. is Doing
Adult Support Group Meetings
CLVC Item of the Week

Reminders from Last Week’s Edition

The Tina Bess and Daniel J. Boucher Scholarship for the 2023-2024 Academic Year

From Our Community

Insider Corner
Winston Walkers Event this Friday, June 2

HR and Opportunities

Your Benefit of the Week
New Job Openings

Support Group Zoom Meeting Links


New this Week

Winston-Salem Facility – LeanIT Update

Image of the LeanIT terminal at a t-shirt sewing workstation.

LeanIT is a software program for IFB Solutions textile manufacturing that helps management identify bottlenecks. It also allows each machine operator understand production goals and progress against those goals.

LeanIT was tested in the Winston-Salem t-shirt department because t-shirts only have 7 operations and are simpler than products like the MOLLE rucksack or the IWOL jacket. This test started at the end of last year and officially went live on January 9. In this test, individual machine operators received a bonus based on how much they produced.

The data collected shows LeanIT helps increase efficiency – more t-shirts are produced with the same resources. In fact, while costs have risen in recent years for our t-shirt product line well above what our contract pricing can handle, LeanIT has helped reduce expenses over 30% since December. This helps this product line cover more of its associated costs and support our mission.

The next phase of LeanIT is rolling out to the Winston-Salem Advanced Combat Shirt (ACS). This department is significantly more complex, with machine operators performing multiple operations, sub-assembly processes, and close to 100 manufacturing steps.

IFB Solutions will start piloting LeanIT in the Advanced Combat Shirt (ACS) department on Monday, June 5. This begins a 1 week process of testing the system and individual production goals. As of this week, the equipment is being set up and tested. The engineering team and supervisors will meet with the entire ACS department on Tuesday, May 30 (location to-be-announced) to share more details.


See what S.E.E. is Doing

Garden club group poses with IFB SEE and Development staff after certificate presentation

The Forest Garden Club donated money to purchase 2 Red Delicious apple trees for the schoolhouse backyard. Garden Club guests received a certificate of appreciation as the S.E.E. kids and staff and the marketing team helped them plant the trees on April 25, 2023. We thank everyone who was a part of this special project that will provide opportunities to grow and learn for years to come as the trees grow.

Adult Support Group Meetings:

  • Thursday, June 1 Sight Adjustment support group meeting from 12:00-12:45 in TADS Room.


CLVC Item of the Week:

Image of shakers

Reizen Braille/Tactile Salt and Pepper Shaker Set for $18.95

Super Shakers are salt and pepper shakers designed for use by individuals with blindness or low vision. These glass shakers have a sleeve fitted between the mouth of the container and the metal shaker top. The sleeve on the salt shaker is marked with a large raised S, a Braille S, and two additional vertical lines. The sleeve for the pepper shaker is has a unique tactile feature and is marked with a large raised P and a Braille P.

If you are interested in purchasing Low Vision Equipment through our Loan Program (3rd Party), please contact a Low Vision Coordinator for assistance.


From Our Community

Insider Corner

This section is edited by Faith Harding. Have something to share? Email Faith at fharding@ifbsolutions.org

Sun’s Out, Funds Out: 10 Tips for Summer Spending

Contributed by: Kim Shoffner

From GREENPATH Financial Wellness

Summer is coming! And while warmer months are a great time for outdoor fun and travel, they can also be a time of overspending. To minimize financial stress, it’s a good idea to have a spending plan for your summer itinerary. Trimming down on expenses doesn’t have to mean trimming down on good times. Here are ten tips for building a spending plan that will help you enjoy the season (without breaking the bank).

1. Build a budget. Create an activities or vacation budget that allows you a big picture view of your current income and how much your activities will cost—if you’re road-tripping for example, what will you need to spend on lodging, tourist attractions, and meals? You don’t have to have it perfectly mapped out down to every stop—spontaneity is part of the fun! GREENPATH’s financial wellness partner BECU suggests the 50/30/20 rule: no more than 50% of your income, after taxes, should go towards needs; 30% of your income towards wants, including fun; 20% into savings.

2. Prioritize activities. Make a list of the summer activities you want to do and prioritize them based on how important they are to you (and others, if you’re planning with friends or family.) This puts a financial focus on the activities that matter most and makes it less likely that you’ll be short on cash where it really counts.

3. Scout freebies. Whether you’re staying local or hitting the road, there are often plenty of free summer activities you can take advantage of. Hiking, picnics, open air concerts, and spray parks are a few examples.
Sign up for local calendars or email newsletters that spotlight community happenings or, if you’re only in town for a little while, do some online sleuthing beforehand. City recreational websites are one place to start.

4. Find a host. When deciding what plans you might make (or trips you might make) this summer, consider whether you have friends or family members who would be happy to play host or even swap homes with you if they’re also wanting a change of scenery. Hotel and vacation rental costs typically comprise a sizeable percentage of travel expenses plus you have the added benefit of catching up with close ones.

5. Use coupons and discounts. Look for coupons and discounts for summer activities, such as amusement parks, museums, and water parks. You can often find discounts on online coupon sites or promo code sites and some businesses will advertise direct specials if you sign up for their newsletter or emails (you can always unsubscribe after you’ve taken advantage.)

Stay tuned for the remaining five tips next week.


Uber’s making it easier to hail a ride — no app required.

Contributed by: Kim Shoffner

Uber announced at its annual Go-GET event in New York City it’s launching a new ride-hailing option for people who aren’t as familiar navigating a smartphone. By dialing the toll-free number 1-833-USE-UBER (1-833-873-8237) customers can speak with an agent in English or Spanish to request a ride on-demand or reserve one for a future trip.

When calling, existing customers can use the card on file. If they don’t have an account, they can pay with a credit card by phone and the agent can create an account for them.

Here’s how it works:

  • Customers call Uber from a phone to talk to a team member.
  • Once the ride has been confirmed, Uber sends information via text message about the ride, including the driver’s name and picture, license plate number and their estimated time of arrival.
  • Finally, the customer receives another text message when the driver arrives at their pickup location.
  • What about tips? Booking an Uber via phone doesn’t provide a way to do that — surely to the chagrin of drivers. But Uber points out that riders can give cash tips if they choose to do so.

Try this feature and let us know how it worked for you.


Winston Walkers Event this Friday, June 2 at 10am

Come and join us in seeking adventures! The Winston Walkers led by Diana Soto, an IFB employee in the ACS department, is a group that promotes healthy living while having fun exploring parks. We will meet this Friday, June 2 at 10 AM. For more information, please click the link below. It will direct you to the Winston Walkers WhatsApp group. It will be a great pleasure to see you there!



HR & Opportunities

Your Benefit of the Week

This section is a new weekly feature supported by IFB Solutions Benefits Supervisor Ciara Frenette. Reach her at cfrenette@ifbsolutions.org

For those on IFB Solutions’ current medical benefits, download the “Blue Connect Mobile NC” app today: https://www.bluecrossnc.com/blue-connect-mobile. This will allow you to access the following:

  • See your deductible, claims and benefits in an instant so you know exactly where you stand.
  • Access important documents like your digital ID card no matter where you are.
  • Select an in-network, primary care provider today for easy access to care when you really need it.

IFB Solutions’ benefits plan year with BlueCross BlueShield of NC ends June 30, 2023.


New Job Announcements

For all current openings, visit https://www.paycomonline.net/v4/ats/web.php/jobs?clientkey=8B43E6E34C5D5C9AA3D07BB04DBEB909

BSC Store Clerk – West Point (blind/visually impaired candidates encouraged to apply)

Education and work experience:

  • High School Diploma
  • No prior experience required

External candidates may apply at https://www.paycomonline.net/v4/ats/web.php/jobs/ViewJobDetails?job=63525&clientkey=8B43E6E34C5D5C9AA3D07BB04DBEB909

Internal candidates may apply at https://www.paycomonline.net/v4/ats/web.php/jobs/ViewJobDetails?job=63526&clientkey=8B43E6E34C5D5C9AA3D07BB04DBEB909&jpt=ce8685cef740a6280b5fcb492b556fa5


BSC Store Clerk – Naval Academy – Annapolis, MD (blind/visually impaired candidates encouraged to apply)

Education and work experience:

  • High School Diploma
  • No prior experience required

External candidates may apply at https://www.paycomonline.net/v4/ats/web.php/jobs/ViewJobDetails?job=63541&clientkey=8B43E6E34C5D5C9AA3D07BB04DBEB909

Internal candidates may apply at https://www.paycomonline.net/v4/ats/web.php/jobs/ViewJobDetails?job=63542&clientkey=8B43E6E34C5D5C9AA3D07BB04DBEB909&jpt=ce8685cef740a6280b5fcb492b556fa5


BSC Stock Clerk/Driver – Naval Academy – Annapolis, MD

Education and work experience:

High School Diploma or equivalent

External candidates may apply at https://www.paycomonline.net/v4/ats/web.php/jobs/ViewJobDetails?job=63548&clientkey=8B43E6E34C5D5C9AA3D07BB04DBEB909

Internal candidates may apply at https://www.paycomonline.net/v4/ats/web.php/jobs/ViewJobDetails?job=63549&clientkey=8B43E6E34C5D5C9AA3D07BB04DBEB909&jpt=ce8685cef740a6280b5fcb492b556fa5


BSC Store Manager – Naval Academy – Annapolis, MD

Education and work experience:

  • Bachelors degree or higher preferred.
  • Minimum of 3 years prior retail management experience.
  • Must have a valid drivers license.
  • Must pass government background and drug tests.

External candidates may apply at https://www.paycomonline.net/v4/ats/web.php/jobs/ViewJobDetails?job=63555&clientkey=8B43E6E34C5D5C9AA3D07BB04DBEB909

Internal candidates may apply at https://www.paycomonline.net/v4/ats/web.php/jobs/ViewJobDetails?job=63556&clientkey=8B43E6E34C5D5C9AA3D07BB04DBEB909&jpt=ce8685cef740a6280b5fcb492b556fa5

Zoom Meeting Links

Adult Support Groups Zoom

Meeting ID: 994 9807 8576
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Meeting ID: 994 9807 8576


Assistive Technology Support Group Zoom


Meeting ID: 944 3463 0872
Passcode: 924496

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+13126266799, 99434630872, #, # US (Chicago)