The Advocates for Leadership and Employment program is a signature initiative of the Public Policy Team at National Industries for the Blind (NIB). Each year, new employees who are blind from NIB associated nonprofit agencies across the country join the two-year training program, where they learn about the public policy process and meet with members of Congress, on Capitol Hill and, since the coronavirus pandemic, virtually. After completing the training, agencies have effective advocates who can represent the interests of their agencies and the people who are blind that they employ, in the halls of Congress and in their local community. This year, four people who are blind from NIB associated agencies are joining the program:
A production supervisor at Georgia Industries for the Blind in Bainbridge, Michael oversees all aspects of the file folder assembly process, from production to packaging, and provides supervision and production and payroll recordkeeping for a staff of 20. Michael holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from Florida State University in Tallahassee and is working with a local grassroots organization to improve the lives of people in his community who are blind.
Brittany serves as the essential needs services and customer care specialist for the New York State Preferred Source Program for New Yorkers Who Are Blind (NYSPSP) in Albany, where she manages customer accounts; serves as a liaison between vendors, aﬃliated agencies, and customers; and updates and maintains item information and pricing. Prior to joining NYSPSP, Brittany served as assistant shipping supervisor at Alphapointe in Queens, New York, an NYSPSP affiliated agency, where she was named the agency’s employee of the year.
As the workforce services division manager at IFB Solutions in Winston-Salem, Shannon helps secure employment for people who are blind providing services in call centers and work-from-home positions across the country. A graduate of Salem College with a marketing degree, Shannon also and holds an MBA from Liberty University and has completed both the Business Leaders and Effective Supervision training programs offered by NIB.
As manager of the Envision Xpress Base Supply Center at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota, William provides supervision and training for staff, oversees all daily operations, and fulfills Envision’s GSA contract, shipping SKILCRAFT products and military items throughout the country and overseas. William holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Information Systems and was Envision’s nominee for the Milton J. Samuelson Career Achievement Award in 2015.