The agency currently offers more than 150 manufacturing jobs in its Industrial and Sewing Centers and the majority of employees filling those positions are visually impaired. The Industrial & Sewing Centers, a 50,000-square-foot plant and warehouse, produce items for a wide variety of military, federal, state and commercial customers. Since nearly 80 percent of local visually impaired individuals are either not gainfully employed or have very limited work experience, an extensive training program and a non-traditional approach is required before a client may become employed in the Industrial and Sewing Centers.
Lighthouse supervisors are highly qualified with the educational background and experience to motivate and assist clients in learning job-readiness skills. Each client undergoes a detailed assessment of work skills and visual ability. The supervisors match the client’s level of vision with the correct manufacturing requirements and equipment. Individuals are always cross-trained in at least three skill sets which increases advancement opportunities.
A Sewing Center employee may learn to operate a Mitsubishi Double Needle Lockstitch machine. Having this skill would also allow them to operate a Bag Sealer. A Single Needle Lockstitch machine operator could also be trained on a fully automated Juki Programmable Stitching machine. The bag sealer operator may get a job in any industry that uses that type of equipment to bag and seal its products. An operator of a Programmable Stitching machine for textiles (which is comparable to a Programmable Computer Numerical Control machine used in cutting either wood or metal) would easily acquire transferable skills into outside industry.
In the Industrial Center, an operator of a Programmable 5-Station Turntable may be trained on the Hot Stamp Embossing machine; likewise, the operator of an Automated Die Cut machine could be trained on the Programmable Blister pack machine – all skills required to work in other outside industries using the same equipment and techniques.
Training also includes problem solving, time management, work ethics, conflict resolution and productivity. Daily living skills and effective work practices (including safety and speed) are included in the training.
Our guiding principle is the belief that with the proper knowledge, training, experience and motivation, individuals who are visually impaired can competitively perform in a manufacturing position and retain long-term gainful employment.
For more information please contact: