New Product Lines Create Increased Opportunities at Inland Northwest Lighthouse
The recent expansion of Inland Northwest Lighthouse (INL) has already resulted in increased job opportunities for people who are blind in Spokane. The addition of 42 thousand square feet of manufacturing and warehouse space has enabled INL to produce several new items including 13 new wallboards. About half of the new wallboards that we are manufacturing are magnetic boards, some are medium density fiber (MDF) boards with an oak or mahogany finish, and a couple of boards are built with plastic sides.
Besides manufacturing a new line of wallboards, Tim Dotson, Plant Manager at INL said, “There are six new easels currently in product development that will be brought on board in 2015.” The expanded line of easels will include a reversible easel that will allow for writing on both of its sides. As a result of the expansion of the wallboard and easel lines, INL was able to hire six new employees who are blind in 2014.
Pat O’Hara, Vice President of Operations for The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc., said soon all of the processes for the entrenching tool (E-Tool) will be relocated to INL.” He added that with the relocation of the E-Tool to Spokane, along with increased orders for wallboards and easels, we expect to hire seven more people who are blind at INL within the next few months.
We are excited to hire new employees who are blind and to offer them the opportunity to receive training in the areas of braille literacy, computer and assistive technology, and orientation and mobility. With an increase of newly hired employees, also comes an increase in these mission-related expenses. As you know, we rely on the generous support of our community to continue making our work possible. Thank you for helping us enable more people who are blind in the Inland Northwest to achieve independence and self-sufficiency. You make a difference!