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Training blind, visually impaired workers for skilled jobs focus of new center

The William L. Hudson BVI Workforce Innovation Center will be located at Envision’s downtown headquarters at 610 N. Main.
The William L. Hudson BVI Workforce Innovation Center will be located at Envision’s downtown headquarters at 610 N. Main. File photo

A Wichita nonprofit that provides services to people who are blind or visually impaired wants to train them to get better jobs.

Envision on Monday announced the creation of the William L. Hudson BVI Workforce Innovation Center, which aims to train blind or visually impaired people for skilled work in industries such as health care and information technology.

The new center will be the Wichita-based nonprofit’s “most extensive employment-centered program to date,” it said in a news release.

“… We believe that the time is right to place an unparalleled focus on creating equal opportunities for white collar, professional positions in the workplace for people who are blind or visually impaired,” Michael Monteferrante, president and CEO of Envision, said in a news release. “.”

William Hudson is the CEO of North Carolina-based LC Industries, the namesake of the new center. LC also is Envision’s partner in it.

The center will be located at Envision’s downtown Wichita headquarters at 610 N. Main. The organization has begun a $1.5 million fundraiser to construct and operate the center. The fundraiser also will allow the center to receive a $750,000 challenge grant from Tulsa-based J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation.

The center is also intended to support employers who hire the workers trained there, by providing them what Envision calls “accessibility inclusion expertise.”

Jerry Siebenmark: 316-268-6576, @jsiebenmark

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