As the largest employer of people who are blind or visually impaired in the country, IFB Solutions understands the vital importance of consistent and safe lighting for its employees. A grant from The Cannon Foundation, based in Concord, N.C., is making this possible with a $50,000 grant to convert IFB’s manufacturing facilities in Winston-Salem and Asheville, N.C. to all LED lighting. Combined, the two facilities employ 685 people and cover a total 183,000 square feet.

“Consistent lighting on the production floor is critical to our employees, many of whom have light perception sensitivities,” said David Horton, President & CEO of IFB Solutions. “We’re incredibly grateful to The Cannon Foundation for this generous grant that enables all of our production areas to maintain the same level of light across every work area. It’s a huge benefit to our employees and to our organization.”

The nonprofit also expects to realize significant energy savings from the use of LED lighting, monies which then can be invested back into programs and services such as IFB’s Community Low Vision Centers and S.E.E. children’s programs. IFB Solutions has already converted to LED lighting at its manufacturing facility in Little Rock, Ark. and distribution center in Clemmons, N.C. IFB Solutions worked with Waste Reduction Partners (WRP) based in Asheville, N.C. to identify cost-effective energy and environmental management opportunities like the conversion to LED lighting.

“The cost-savings generated by the move to LED lighting could not come at a more important time as we bear the financial challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Horton. “IFB Solutions has been designated an essential business by the Department of Defense, and our operations have remained open. To assist employees unable to come to work because of the virus we’ve established our People First Fund which has helped nearly 500 employees.”



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 operating nearly 20 office supply stores across the country and producing mattresses. IFB produces eyewear under its Twenty200 brand at its Winston-Salem lab and operates a retail location in Winston-Salem. IFB Solutions funds employee training and services as well as community programs through grants and private donations, making possible summer camps, afterschool programs and activities for children who are blind, and Community Low Vision services through its low-vision Centers across North Carolina and in Little Rock, Ark.


The Cannon Foundation was formed in 1943 by Charles A. Cannon, chairman and president of the Cannon Mills Company. The Foundation continues his philanthropic legacy by funding primarily capital and infrastructure projects for organizations across the state of North Carolina. To date, the foundation has awarded grants totaling more than $305 million.