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ABVI & 3M Celebrate 25 Years of Job Creation

Jun 12, 2015

ROCHESTER – Twenty-five years ago a partnership was forged between a giant in the manufacturing world and a small non-profit with a mission to empower people with vision loss to overcome barriers to independence. Today, the partnership between 3M and the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ABVI) has successfully met that mission through creating:

  • More than 500,000 hours of work for ABVI employees who are blind or visually impaired
  • $6.86 million in wages for ABVI employees who are blind or visually impaired

“No other single partnership the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired has had over the last 25 years has provided such an opportunity to empower people who have significant vision loss like our partnership with 3M has,” said Gidget Hopf, president and CEO of ABVI.

The partnership between the two came about through the AbilityOne Program, the largest single provider of jobs in the United States for people who are blind or visually impaired or have other severe disabilities. The U.S. AbilityOne Commission, an independent federal agency, administers the program with assistance from National Industries for the Blind (NIB) [ABVI is an NIB affiliated agency].

“3M has always strived to be a good citizen in the communities we serve. We believe in NIB and want to share in its mission of employing people who are blind. Starting 25 years ago with ABVI, we have partnered with many NIB associated agencies and have helped create hundreds of jobs for people who are blind,” said George Foley, 3M Government Business Development Manager.

In the beginning, ABVI manufactured three self-stick notepad products using 3M materials. Today, the number of products ABVI manufactures using 3M materials is up to 33, with more on the horizon.

“In 25 years, ABVI employees have manufactured over 211 million self-stick notepads,” said Hopf.

The notepads, like all of the products ABVI manufactures through the partnership with 3M, are produced in its Rochester facility. “Our employees ship the products throughout the United States and they are used by federal employees and military personnel worldwide,” said Hopf.

To celebrate the partnership and all it has done to empower ABVI employees who are blind or visually impaired, ABVI will honor 3M with the 2015 Community Partner Award at it’s annual President and Chair’s Luncheon, Wednesday, June 17 from 12:00 – 1:30 p.m. at 500 South Clinton Avenue, Rochester. The Community Partner award is a prestigious award given annually to organizations or individuals that have supported ABVI in promoting its mission.

Media Contact: Todd Pipitone, PR Manager