JANESVILLE, Wis. – (May 6, 2016) Today, U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan visited his hometown to celebrate the grand opening of the new manufacturing facility for ibMilwaukee, a $100 million national industrial supplier and distributor of office supplies, office furniture, customized kitting and promotional products, where many members of their passionate and diverse workforce are blind or visually impaired.
The new hand-assembly manufacturing plant is twice the size of ibMilwaukee’s previous Janesville location and enables the company to double its local workforce. The facility will produce office products, most commonly supplied to the government, such as SKILCRAFT® pens and office stationary.
“This is an exciting time for ibMilwaukee as we celebrate our success and growth as a company, and bring more jobs to Janesville residents and blind professionals,” said President and CEO CJ Lange. “Blind accessibility was at the forefront of our new Janesville facility planning and we have and will continue to incorporate innovative technologies to enhance the work of our employees and the quality of our products.”
House Speaker Ryan took a facility tour, spoke with ibMilwaukee employees, learned about workplace accessibility for the blind from industry experts at ibMilwaukee and witnessed the manufacturing plant in action for the first time.
"I'm thrilled to be back in my hometown celebrating the accomplishments of ibMilwaukee, their commitment to Wisconsin-made products, and the creation of employment opportunities for Janesville residents," said U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan. "Coupling innovative technology with workplace accessibility and a knowledgeable workforce, ibMilwaukee produces the highest quality products that we are proud to say are made in Janesville, Wisconsin."
Wisconsin State Senator Janis Ringhand, Wisconsin State Representative Debra Kolste and Janesville City Manager Mark Freitag, were also in attendance to recognize the success and growth of ibMilwaukee and to celebrate the company’s commitment to manufacturing products in Wisconsin, while providing more jobs to the blind community and Janesville residents.
The grand opening ceremony entailed remarks from House Speaker Paul Ryan, ibMilwaukee President and CEO CJ Lange, ibMilwaukee Sales Representative Steve Heesen, and Janesville City Manager Mark Freitag. Janesville community members and friends from the blind community helped to celebrate the monumental day.
Building off the foundation of a $16,000 grant from National Industries for the Blind (NIB), ibMilwaukee completed the plant construction with a focus on providing improved workplace amenities with blind accessibility, such as new workstations and an easy navigable lunchroom, to help streamline projection and empower their employees.
ibMilwaukee is a $100 million national industrial supplier and distributor of office supplies, office furniture, customized kitting and promotional products. ibMilwaukee is recognized globally as an industry leader in workplace accessibility, utilizing innovative technologies to help empower its dedicated local workforce comprised of a majority of legally blind or visually impaired professionals. For more information about ibMilwaukee, visit www.ibmilw.com.
About National Industries for the Blind
For more than 76 years, National Industries for the Blind (NIB) has focused on enhancing the opportunities for economic and personal independence of people who are blind, primarily through creating, sustaining and improving employment. NIB and its network of 94 associated nonprofit agencies nationwide serve as the largest employer of people who are blind through the sale of SKILCRAFT® and other products and services provided by the AbilityOne® Program, established by the Javits-Wagner-O'Day Act. For more information about NIB, visit www.nib.org.