Lighthouse for the Blind-Saint Louis Celebrates Disability Employment Awareness Month By Saluting Customers, Vendors and Employees
New Technology Enables People Who are Blind to Perform Manufacturing Jobs that Sighted Persons Can Do, Supporting New Business Partnerships and More Economic Opportunity for Those Involved
OCTOBER 18, 2012, St. Louis, Missouri...The Lighthouse for the Blind-Saint Louis, a not-for-profit manufacturing and packaging organization with a dedicated social service mission, today announced its support for National Disability Employment Awareness Month by saluting companies that employ people who are blind or disabled and which raise awareness about disability employment issues.
John Thompson, President of Lighthouse for the Blind-Saint Louis, says, “In 2012, the Lighthouse forged great business partnerships with top-ranked companies such as ZEP, Inc., and Bound Tree Medical, and we anticipate growing our business together. These business relationships represent significant opportunities for the Lighthouse to increase employment for people who are blind.
“The U.S. unemployment rate currently hovers around eight percent. Every job is more important than ever. Yet in the community of Americans who are blind the unemployment rate is nearly 70 percent. For people who are blind or disabled having a job opens doors to personal and financial independence,” Thompson says.
“At the Lighthouse, we believe our new business partnerships are a ‘Triple Win’ opportunity enabling the organizations involved to produce and sell more products to increase their earnings, which leads to increased economic opportunities, while helping to provide meaningful work for people who are blind.
“We salute every company that believes ‘A Strong Workforce is an Inclusive Workforce,” Thompson continues. “More employers need to know that new technology has leveled the playing field for persons who are blind, making it possible for them to perform manufacturing and packaging jobs that sighted persons can do. This is evident in The Lighthouse’s two manufacturing and packaging plants in St. Louis County where we employ more than 70 people who are blind, thanks to our customers, vendors and, of course, our skilled employees doing great work to satisfy those customers.”
“These commercial business partnerships, and also our partnerships with government and military customers, help enhance the Lighthouse social service programs that we offer in St. Louis and throughout Missouri for people who are blind, and strengthen the fabric of our communities and our regional economy,” Thomson asserts.
National Disability Employment Awareness Month is a campaign led by the U.S. Department of Labor that occurs each October. The goal is to educate people and businesses about disability employment issues and celebrate the many varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities. For information, visit the website http://www.dol.gov/odep/. The campaign complements National White Cane Safety Day, which has occurred annually on October 15 since 1964 when the U.S. Congress passed legislation recognizing the importance of the white cane as a staff of independence for people who are blind, and as a symbol of self-reliance.
This year, The Lighthouse and ZEP, Inc. finalized a co-branding agreement established in 2011 for the Lighthouse to manufacture aerosol metered air freshener products for ZEP. Recently, The Lighthouse won a contract to provide supplies for use by U.S. Navy Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives (CBRNE) disaster response groups.
Also known as LHB Industries, The Lighthouse for the Blind-Saint Louis is a non-profit entity that helps adults and children who are visually impaired maintain dignity and independence by offering Employment, Education and Support Services. Founded in 1933, The Lighthouse operates manufacturing and packaging plants in the cities of Berkeley and Overland in St. Louis County. The Lighthouse and its employees manufacture, assemble, warehouse and sell high-quality products to government and business customers nationwide including first aid kits, medical kits, catheters, aerosol and liquid paints, aerosol and liquid cleaning products, eco-friendly products and many others.
All sales revenues directly support Lighthouse programs including Professional Career Development; Special Technology and Adaptive Resources for Students (STARS); Summer Jobs for Students; Continuing Education; Arts & Entertainment Accessibility; Low Vision Aid; and others available for individuals who are legally blind and visually impaired in Missouri and Southwestern Illinois.
For information, contact Brittney Smithers, Marketing & Sales Specialist, at toll-free 800.542.3697, or 314.423.4333, or visit the website http://www.lhbindustries.com. Media contact: Jeff Dunlap at 314.993.6925.