Georgia Industries for the Blind Celebrates 70 Years
While GIB is one of five programs operated by the state’s Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency (GVRA), the plant exists strictly off profits, receiving no state or federal funds. Now located on Faceville Highway, the plant has been a community fixture since 1949 and today produces classification folders, pillows and safety vests. GIB also manages a call center which supports the state agency’s broader employment initiatives.
“We do not hire blind people. We hire competent, qualified employees who happen to be blind or have low vision,” said Operations Director Mike Jackson. “A lot of visitors to our properties tell us, you do not notice disabilities when you look out across the production floor. You notice people getting quality work done.”
Some GIB employees use their experience as a jumping off point to careers in customer service, manufacturing or engineering. Others choose to build their futures at the plant.
“We take pride both in an excellent selection of products and services, but moreover, in the skill level and dedication you see in our GIB colleagues,” said Shawn Ryan, GVRA’s Executive Director. “So often, when you hire an individual who has a disability, you are getting an employee who is a critical thinker and a problem solver. They know how to meet a challenge and find solutions.”
On Thursday, June 27th, GIB will celebrate its seven decades with a barbecue lunch at noon at 700 Faceville Highway. The event is open to the community and media. RSVPs are requested to Mike Jackson at Mike.Jackson@gvs.ga.gov.
GVRA is the state’s Vocational Rehabilitation organization. It was established through legislative action in 2012 with the goal of helping every Georgian with a disability who wants a career to attain success. The organization incudes five programs: vocational rehabilitation, Roosevelt Warm Springs and Cave Spring Center, Georgia Industries for the Blind, the Business Enterprise Program and Disability Adjudication Services. More information is available at gvs.ga.gov.
Media Contact: Communications@gvs.ga.gov, (404) 922-1303