IFB Beat – Week of November 13, 2023

A Message from the Editor

November brings in the season of giving, holiday activities and celebrations! In this week’s issue, find an update from senior management, Thanksgiving lunch details, numerous new job postings, and about our 2024 Employee of the Year, Career Achiever of the Year, and Delmer Wall Awards. Also, read all about the fun fall activities the S.E.E. students are enjoying and learn how your giving can make a difference through IFB’s programs for kids and adults in our communities who are blind.

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful week!

Anastasia Powell

IFB Solutions Communications Manager

apowell@ifbsolutions.org | 336-245-5698

Quick Links:

New this Week

IFB Operational Update
Winston-Salem and Asheville Facility Thanksgiving Lunch Details
2024 Awards Nominations Open
Reminder: IFB Solutions Annual Staff Giving Campaign
See what S.E.E. is Doing
Adult Support Group Meetings
CLVC Item of the Week

From Our Community

Insider Corner

HR and Opportunities

New Job Openings

Support Group Zoom Meeting Links

Winston-Salem and Clemmons Facilities Operational Update

We continue to be incredibly grateful to everyone in our organization for your resiliency and flexibility as we undergo changes in our business to better position IFB Solutions for long-term success. Our number one priority is to create and sustain jobs for people who are blind, and everything we do is guided by this goal.

Our Winston-Salem facility is undergoing a number of changes as we work toward becoming more efficient in our production processes and reducing frustrating downtimes for employees, especially in our IWOL and ACS departments. To ensure the raw materials are on hand to keep production lines running, we’re expanding warehouse capacity in the Winston-Salem facility. The new space will increase the number of pallet space for raw and finished goods, from less than 100 pallet spaces to more than 1,000 pallet spaces. This huge increase will help production efficiency, reduce down time and improve our bottom line. Thanks to Dale Baker, Ed Sykes, Gary Rippey, Angela Jordan and their respective teams for the insights and activity to bring these changes to life.

To create the necessary warehouse capacity at the Winston-Salem Facility, we’re moving our mattress operations to the Clemmons Facility. Employees who work in mattresses will be transported to the Clemmons Facility on dedicated production days and then work in other areas of the Winston-Salem Facility during days when mattress production is not running. You’ve likely already observed mattress department equipment moving out of the Winston-Salem Facility as well as up-fitting occurring at the Clemmons Facility; we anticipate the transition to be complete by early December.

Over the next two months, construction crews will be reworking the former optical lab area and upstairs area above the mattress department in order to expand our warehouse capacity and establish the new Fuel Handler Suit production line. You have probably already observed changes to the manufacturing floor to accommodate production aspects unique to the Fuel Handler Suit like specialized ventilation. This line will be up and running soon, and look forward to welcoming a new production supervisor for this department very soon as well.

Production efficiency will be a big theme this year and will touch every department. Most recently, we determined that inventory levels for our vinyl, markers, scissors, wipes and rag products were very high. Simply put, we were assembling and packaging more of these goods than our customers were demanding, and we currently have too much sitting in our inventory. A short-term solution has been to reduce production to 3 days per week, but to create longer-term solutions we’re in the process of shifting IFB employees from these lines to other responsibilities. We are incredibly grateful to those employees for their willingness to move to other areas, as well as to our training and ratio team led by Kelly Speas, who worked on this solution.

If you have specific questions regarding any of these changes, please share with your supervisor or reach out to Anastasia Powell, IFB Solutions Communications Manager, at apowell@ifbsolutions.org and she’ll work to connect you with an answer. Thanks again for your commitment to our mission in this new fiscal year.


Winston-Salem and Asheville Facility Thanksgiving Lunch Details

IFB Solutions will be providing a traditional Thanksgiving lunch at the Winston-Salem and Asheville Facility locations during your scheduled lunch breaks.

  • Winston-Salem Facility: Tuesday, November 21; catered by Canteen Catering
  • Asheville Facility: Wednesday, November 22; catered by Box Car Grille


2024 Awards Nominations Open

IFB Solutions is excited to kick off our nomination process for the 2024 Employee of the Year, Career Achiever of Year, and Delmer Wall Awards. IFB managers can nominate employees that demonstrate exceptional performance that drives our mission forward. Managers should submit all nominations to Brent Burkholder at bburkholder@ifbsolutions.org by Friday December 1; please reach out to him if you have any questions!

We thank everyone for their hard work and dedication. So, stay tuned as the new 2024 award winners are selected!


Reminder: IFB Solutions Annual Staff Giving Campaign

Each year, IFB Solutions employees are invited to give philanthropically to support the programs and services offered to individuals who are blind. While these funds support many activities, they especially help ensure our after school programs and camps for kids run smoothly and remain free of charge as well as enabling our Community Low Vision Centers to provide training and support for individuals new to visual impairment. IFB has a goal to raise just over $1.5 million this year, and our employees, alongside their family and friends, make up a vital part of these contributions.

Image of lunch cooler with "I Donated"The annual Staff Giving Campaign for 2024 will kick off on November 1, 2023. Here are some details about the upcoming campaign:

  • If you have an IFB email address, you’ll receive two optional calendar invites to attend a Zoom meeting to learn more about the specific areas of our mission your gifts will support.
  • These sessions are December 5 at 10 a.m. and December 7 at 1 p.m. Each session will contain the same information, so if you plan to join, just accept the best fit and decline the other As always, everyone is invited to participate in Staff Campaign sessions, but giving is not mandatory.
  • For employees who work at our Winston-Salem Facility, you’re invited to attend an in-person session in the TAD’s Room that will last approximately 15 minutes. These sessions will occur between November 13 and 15; supervisors will receive a separate email with the meeting schedules to share with employees.
  • For employees who work in our Asheville Facility, you’re invited to a general assembly session on November 29 at 10am.

For those that decide to donate, you can contribute in the following ways:

  • Payroll deduction: fill out and sign a payroll deduction form before December 8, 2023
  • Cash or check: give directly to Tatiana Russell or Naomi Venable (make checks out to IFB Solutions)
  • Online at https://ifbsolutions.org/donate/

All donors who contribute $20 or more will receive a customized lunch bag and be entered into a drawing for a chance to win gift baskets donated by a generous donor.

THANK YOU for supporting job training, employment, transportation, support groups, and programs for IFB employees and communities throughout North Carolina.

Questions? Contact Tatiana Russell at trussell@ifbsolutions.org.


See what S.E.E. is Doing

small bowl of acorns

The S.E.E. kids made a bowl of acorns potpourri. First, we made homemade Play Dough and divided it into 4 baggies. Second, we added a spice to each one for scent and color kneading it into the dough through the bag. Third, we rolled the dough into very small balls and pressed them into an acorn cap fresh from a fall oak tree. Last, we made 5 acorns of each scent: cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and pumpkin spice and put them into a small bowl. This acorn potpourri gives off the scents of fall.


Adult Support Group Meetings:

Upcoming Support Group Meetings

  • Monday, November 13 NFB meeting from 12:00-12:45 in TADS Room
  • Tuesday, November 14 Sight Adjustment support group meeting from 12:00-12:45 in TADS Room
  • Wednesday, November 15 Diabetic support group meeting from 12:00-12:45 in TADS Room.


CLVC Item of the Week:

Set of Braille Uno Cards

UNO XL Braille Cards, A fun and popular family card game that everyone can play! Get yours today for $18.95.

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. Reach out to her at fharding@ifbsolutions.org

Greetings IFB Family!

Hope everyone is doing well. Sometimes new experiences may not be what you want. However, they are exactly what you need to grow.

Enjoy and make this an amazing week!


2023 Flow Buick-GMC Blind Driving Experience

Thank you to all who participated to make this year another successful event! On October 13 Blind Power Company, Winston-Salem Twin City Lions Club and the Winston-Salem Police Department provided a unique opportunity for the blind and visually impaired to get behind the wheel of a real car and be totally free to drive! The event had 47 blind drivers and 14 sighted drivers to drive under the blindfold. Please watch the 2023 Flow Buick-GMC Blind Driving Experience video at https://vimeo.com/879870166?share=copy. Beep! Beep!


In this new song, Oryan Battis shares how an intense past challenge launches one to develop inner strength. No matter what your going through, you can become a better you!  Listen to Resilience here.

Glimpse Into Asheville

Submitted by Winter Robinson, Winston-Salem Facility Employee

Asheville North Carolina. When you hear this city’s name, what do you think? For most, it may be Biltmore. In this article, I shall show you many amazing things to see and do here. Lets start off with the best hotel, Country Inn and Suites located in River Arts district. This wonderful hotel provides a hot breakfast included with stay, heated pool, shuttle for easy transport, friendly staff and highly walkable strip mall.

The strip mall contains a CVS, computer store called Parks Computers, Plato’s Closet and Earthfare; store similar to Whole Foods and Fresh Market. There’s a plethora of food options including gemelli’s; a wonderful café serving amazing pizza , great service, and outstanding drinks. The Irish Coffee was to die for!

Ready for some interesting facts? Check out Citizen Vinyl, a record pressing plant offering tours showing vinyl creations from start to finish. Such facets included touring a recording studio once housed a radio station  that broadcasted via AM frequencies that spread as far north as Canada and as far west as Texas.

Speaking of Radio, check out the Asheville Radio Museum, curated by Stuart smollkin and Tim Mcvey. This wonderful place has many radios to view from CB, to Zenith ”Walton”, to a 1920sn bread board. Feeling adventurous? Try writing your name in Morse code, turning the crank to hear the bells of an old Kellogg telephone, or cause radio interference with a mini lightning strike. The Pair are very kind, considerate, and love sharing their knowledge of Radios and involved technology. Want additional information and a good way to find out more? You can reach Stuart at 504-256-5796.

Downtown Asheville is fairly walkable, however Cane users ensure to walk at a cautious pace. The Activities described above can be done with little in the way of assistance needed. However, the Citizen Vinyl Factory tour and Radio museum may be best experienced with sighted assistance. For example, the Radio museum is located on the campus of Asheville tech community college. It is a little tricky dealing with Uber/Lyft when trying to catch your ride. Asheville can be pricy to visit but it doesn’t have to be expensive to see. Currently Citizen vinyl is offering free Factory tours, the Asheville radio museum is completely free to tour, and stores are always a great place to explore.

Radios and Vinyl, not your thing? No worries, there are other amazing things to do. So, join me next week for part two of sharing Asheville with you.


HR & Opportunities

New Job Announcements

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

Manufacturing and Development Technician – Winston-Salem, NC

Education and work experience:

  • Must have High School Diploma or equivalent
  • Must have 5-8 years of experience working in manufacturing
  • Must have experience in reading blue prints
  • Experience in sewing apparel (preferred)

External candidates may apply at https://www.paycomonline.net/v4/ats/web.php/jobs/ViewJobDetails?job=77009&clientkey=8B43E6E34C5D5C9AA3D07BB04DBEB909

Internal candidates may apply at https://www.paycomonline.net/v4/ats/web.php/jobs/ViewJobDetails?job=77010&clientkey=8B43E6E34C5D5C9AA3D07BB04DBEB909&jpt=ce8685cef740a6280b5fcb492b556fa5


BSC 4PL Buyer/Program Specialist – Rock Island, IL

Education and work experience:

  • 2+ years’ experience in Microsoft Office environment: Outlook, Excel and Word required.
  • Bachelor’s Degree preferred, government contracting experience may be substituted.
  • Procurement and Logistics experience is preferred.

External candidates may apply at https://www.paycomonline.net/v4/ats/web.php/jobs/ViewJobDetails?job=76991&clientkey=8B43E6E34C5D5C9AA3D07BB04DBEB909

Internal candidates may apply at https://www.paycomonline.net/v4/ats/web.php/jobs/ViewJobDetails?job=76992&clientkey=8B43E6E34C5D5C9AA3D07BB04DBEB909&jpt=ce8685cef740a6280b5fcb492b556fa5


BSC Store Clerk – Securities and Exchange Commission – Washington, DC

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=76976&clientkey=8B43E6E34C5D5C9AA3D07BB04DBEB909

Internal candidates may apply at https://www.paycomonline.net/v4/ats/web.php/jobs/ViewJobDetails?job=76977&clientkey=8B43E6E34C5D5C9AA3D07BB04DBEB909&jpt=ce8685cef740a6280b5fcb492b556fa5


Machine Operator & Bus/Van Driver – Winston-Salem, NC

Education and work experience:

  • Must have a high school diploma or GED.
  • Must be 21+ years of age with 5 years of driving experience.
  • A valid driver’s license with an acceptable driving record is required.

Internal candidates may apply at https://www.paycomonline.net/v4/ats/web.php/jobs/ViewJobDetails?job=76968&clientkey=8B43E6E34C5D5C9AA3D07BB04DBEB909&jpt=ce8685cef740a6280b5fcb492b556fa5


Machine Operator & Canteen Assistant/Expediter – Winston-Salem, NC

Education and work experience:

  • Must have a high school diploma or GED.
  • Can be trained to perform job.

Internal candidates may apply at https://www.paycomonline.net/v4/ats/web.php/jobs/ViewJobDetails?job=76972&clientkey=8B43E6E34C5D5C9AA3D07BB04DBEB909&jpt=ce8685cef740a6280b5fcb492b556fa5


For information about any employment opportunities with IFB Solutions please contact Brent Burkholder at bburkholder@ifbsolutions.org or X5611.


Zoom Meeting Links

Adult Support Groups Zoom

Meeting ID: 994 9807 8576
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+13017158592,99498078576# US (Germantown)

13126266799,99498078576# US

Dial by your location.
877 853 5257 US Toll-free
888 475 4499 US Toll-free
Meeting ID: 994 9807 8576


Assistive Technology Support Group Zoom


Meeting ID: 944 3463 0872
Passcode: 924496

+13017158592, 99434630872, #, # US (Germantown)

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