Nicole Ducouer, IFB Solutions Senior Director of Corporate Communications and Programs
336-685-2393 | firstname.lastname@example.org
IFB Solutions Earns 13th National Employment Growth Award
WINSTON-SALEM, NC (Jan. 28, 2019) – Local nonprofit IFB Solutions was honored with the 2018 Employment Growth Award for its efforts to increase employment retention, growth and upward mobility for people who are blind. This is IFB’s 13th award, which is presented by National Industries for the Blind (NIB) to recognize agencies who are increasing employment and economic opportunities for people who are blind or visually impaired.
In 2018, IFB added 63 jobs for people who are blind and promoted eight individuals from direct labor to indirect labor positions. Across its three locations in Winston-Salem, N.C., Asheville, N.C., and Little Rock, Ark., IFB employs nearly 500 people who are blind or visually impaired making it the largest employer of people who are blind or visually impaired in the country.
“IFB Solutions plays a vital role in drawing people to this area,” said David Horton, IFB Solutions President, and CEO. “Many of our 63 new hires were individuals who relocated to Winston-Salem because they could not find jobs in their own communities. And for nearly one-third of our total workforce, IFB is their first job opportunity. We cannot emphasize enough the importance that these jobs play in changing the lives of people who are blind or visually impaired.”
Anastasia Powell, IFB’s Adult Program Coordinator, knows firsthand the transformative impact of a job with IFB, and her subsequent promotion through the Upward Mobility program. “Fourteen years ago, as a blind, single mother, I needed a way to support my kids. IFB Solutions not only opened their arms and gave me a job, but they also invited me to take part in the Upward Mobility program which encourages personal and professional growth,” she said. “I went from sewing machine operator to manager of programs. Now I give back to the community that accepted me from the start. I feel whole again and can take care of my children and that means the world to me.”
According to NIB, 70 percent of working-age Americans who are blind are not employed. The success of agencies like IFB Solutions in creating and sustaining employment opportunities for people who are blind is key to changing this statistic.
“IFB Solutions is doing an outstanding job of creating U.S.-based career opportunities for people who are blind,” said NIB President and CEO Kevin Lynch. “This is a great example of the unlimited capabilities of people who are blind working across the country.”
IFB Solutions’ local footprint in Winston-Salem includes large-scale manufacturing operations, a comprehensive optical lab, Community Low Vision Center and Tracy’s Little Red Schoolhouse which houses its SEE (Student Enrichment Experience) programs for children in grades K-12.
“Our mission is to provide opportunities for people who are blind or visually impaired in need of training, employment, and services,” said Horton. “Everything we do is guided by our belief that all people who are blind or visually impaired have the right to succeed in every area of life.”
About IFB Solutions (IFB)
IFB Solutions is a nonprofit corporation founded in 1936 that provides employment, training, and services for people who are blind or visually impaired. As the largest employer of people who are blind in the United States, IFB operates manufacturing facilities in Winston-Salem, N.C., Asheville, N.C., and Little Rock, Ark., in addition to more than 40 office supply stores and optical centers across the country. IFB Solutions funds employee training and services as well as community programs through grants and private donations, making possible the Community Low Vision Centers across North Carolina and in Little Rock, Ark., and Tracy’s Little Red Schoolhouse based in Winston-Salem. www.ifbsolutions.org