Industries of the Blind to expand, hire 41


Gracie Irving and her coworkers at Industries for the Blind help make 22 parachutes a day for the U.S. Military. (WGHP)

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Industries of the Blind in Greensboro will be hiring 41 people after the military extended contracts to use its containers and parachutes.

More than 200 currently work at its plant on West Lee Street and at its distribution center near PTI Airport.

Of the new hires, 13 will be hired to make parachutes, 12 will make cargo containers and 15 will work in the distribution center.

"It's better than any job I ever had in my life," said Donald Jerrell, employee. "I've been legally blind since 2002, and it's the most self-satisfying job I ever had."

"You are contributing something for our men the military, so it really makes you feel good," said Gracie Irving, employee.

Irving and her coworkers currently make 22 parachutes a day, and the parachutes go directly into the field. Irving said she makes parachutes by feeling the guides of the sewing machine.

The National Federation of the Blind reports the unemployment rate for the visually impaired is more than 70 percent.

Industries of the Blind said it will posts openings on its employment page.

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