Winston-Salem nonprofit IFB Solutions, the largest U.S. employer of people who are blind, plans to hire 60 new employees in the coming months. The majority of the new positions will be part of a textile manufacturing line producing cold weather gear and other specialty garments for the U.S. military. Like other IFB operations, the new manufacturing line will include positions for people who are blind as well as those who are sighted.

Mayor Allen Joines at IFB Solutions' Winston-Salem manufacturing facility.
Mayor Allen Joines tours IFB Solutions’ Winston-Salem manufacturing facility, which is set to expand production this fiscal year.

Because of the highly technical nature of the line’s sewing operations, IFB is expanding its textile training team and offering specialized training for employees. Funding for the enhanced training program was made possible by an ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) grant from the City of Winston-Salem.

“When you provide training to an employee who has just secured his or her first job, you are setting them on a path to independence not just at work, but in life,” said Dan Kelly, IFB Solutions CEO. “For 38 percent of our employees who are blind, IFB Solutions is their very first job so it’s incumbent on us to give them the training and support they need to be successful. We’re incredibly grateful to the City of Winston-Salem for awarding us this critical grant to expand our employee training as we grow our organization.”

IFB’s mission is to provide life-changing opportunities for people who are blind through employment, training and services. Every IFB employee receives “wrap-around” services including job training, on-site medical care, transportation to and from work, a subsidized on-site canteen serving breakfast and lunch, and access to low-vision services at the Ronald G. Sherrill Community Low Vision Center on the IFB campus. Currently, IFB employs more than 450 people at its Winston-Salem facility.

“Nationally, we know that 70 percent of working-age adults who are blind are not employed, and finding an open position is just one facet of that statistic,” said Kelly. “Having access to reliable transportation to and from work is key as are on-site services like food and medical. We’re fortunate to have a supportive city and donor community whose generosity makes it possible for us to support our employees, blind and sighted, in these ways.”

IFB Solutions has already begun posting open positions on the Career Portal of its website, In addition to manufacturing positions, IFB also offers remote work opportunities and positions with its Base Supply Center division.