New York City Industries for the Blind is Joining Forces with Alphapointe
NYCIB will now be known as Alphapointe.NYC
Merged organization will offer enhanced jobs and services to people who are blind and vision impaired
New York City Industries for the Blind (NYCIB), a 501(c)3 organization located in Brooklyn, NY announced today that it is merging with Alphapointe, another 501(c)3 organization located in Kansas City, MO, to join forces and operate as a division of Alphapointe under the new name, Alphapointe.NYC. The two agencies, whose missions align to create opportunities and aspirational careers for people who are blind and visually impaired, will continue to expand upon the 18-year effort of NYCIB to create jobs for people who are blind in New York City. The merged organization will have over 400 employees operating in 9 locations in 4 states.
Rick Bland, founder, President and CEO of NYCIB said, “This merger among ‘sister’ not-for-profit agencies with similar missions, will build upon and expand NYCIB’s 18-year effort to create an ever-increasing number of employment opportunities for legally blind New Yorkers.” Alphapointe.NYC will bring significantly expanded resources to the programs that NYCIB has offered. “Organizations, whether not-for-profit or for-profit, must continually search for greater efficiencies to provide the best possible programmatic services to their customers. With an unemployment rate among legally blind New Yorkers that exceeds 70%, Alphapointe.NYC will be able to more than double the resources committed to help reduce this unacceptably high statistic. We ask for the continuing support of our customers, partners, government officials, foundations, and associates as Alphapointe.NYC begins the next phase of work that NYCIB has been honored to provide since 1995.”
Alphapointe.NYC will be led by Reinhard Mabry, President and CEO of Alphapointe. Members of the Board of Directors of NYCIB will be asked to join the Board of Directors of Alphapointe. Rick Bland will remain with the agency as an employee for one year to ensure a smooth transition of the new Alphapointe.NYC division. In the interest of efficiency, some administrative functions will be streamlined and headquartered at Alphapointe’s Kansas City location, but the work performed by New York City residents who are blind will remain at the Brooklyn location.
Reinhard Mabry, President and CEO of Alphapointe, says, “This merger is the result of a common desire to expand jobs and services for all people with vision loss in New York City and Kansas City. In this age of government sequestration and shutdowns, it is imperative that companies streamline operations and make decisions based on the best interest of its employees. As the industry leader, with over 100 years of experience in both employment and rehabilitation services for people who are blind, Alphapointe is uniquely positioned to expand and continue the great work being done by NYCIB. It is with excitement and confidence that the board, staff and supporters of Alphapointe look forward to this important next step in expanding our mission of empowerment for people with vision loss.”
About New York City Industries for the Blind-
Located in the heart of Brooklyn, New York City Industries for the Blind, Inc. (NYCIB) is a 501(c)3, not-for-profit company that was founded and incorporated in November of 1995. NYCIB is the largest employer of people who are blind or visually impaired in the New York City area. NYCIB offers employment opportunities to individuals who are legally blind through manufacturing of products, business services, and job placement programs. NYCIB manufactures AbilityOne/Skilcraft products under the AbilityOne Program supplying the Federal government and military personnel with quality products. NYCIB is also affiliated with The New York State Preferred Source Program (NYSPSP), which supplies a broad range of products and services to New York state, city and local government agencies.
About Alphapointe- Alphapointe, located in Kansas City, MO has been empowering people with vision loss to maximize their independence since its founding in 1911. Alphapointe is the largest employer of people who are blind in the State of Missouri and the region’s largest resource for people with vision loss, offering products and services nationwide. Alphapointe’s full family of companies includes plastics, micro-molding, office product manufacturing and sales, contact center services, retail stores and a comprehensive rehabilitation and education program for people who are blind or visually impaired.
Gina Gowin, 816-237-2025
Alphapointe mourns the passing of long time board member archie Smith III
Archie Smith III, community leader and long time board member at Alphapointe, passed away Wednesday, October 23 in his home. Mr. Smith served on the board of directors at Alphapointe for more than 40 years, including as President of the Board from 1996-1998. Mr. Smith was recently named Director Emeritus of the agency, the first person in the history of Alphapointe to be awarded this honor.
Mr. Smith was born November 9, 1919 in Kansas City, Kansas to Archie and Marguerite (Polster) Smith. His family was active with Central Christian Church in KCK. He was a graduate of Wyandotte H.S. and served with the Navy, in the Pacific, during WWII. Following the war, Mr. Smith returned to Universal Construction Co. (UCC), which was founded in 1931 by his grandfather, Archie W. Smith, Sr. and uncle, Norvel Smith, with roots reaching back to 1887 in the construction industry. Archie began his construction career at age 14, when he carried buckets of water for the construction workers. Archie rose through the ranks, eventually becoming the present-day CEO of UCC. Most of his life was spent in the Kansas City area, except for a decade when Archie and his young family lived in Joplin, returning to KC in 1958. Through the years, Archie was a strong supporter of many organizations in Kansas City. His memberships also included the American Royal Governors, Leawood United Methodist Church,Rotary Club of Shawnee Mission, Wise Owl Club, American Legion Post 370 and VFW. He served as the Kansas City Chapter Association of General Contractor (AGC) President 1973-74, and Chairman of The Builders' Board in 1983. He was also a member of various other clubs including Leawood County Club, Blue Hills Country Club, Saddle & Sirloin Club, Kansas City Club, Kaw Valley Investors and the Monkey Club. Archie was preceded in death, by his wife of 63 years, Dolores, in March 2003. He leaves two sons, and their wives, Archie Smith IV and Sue, KCK, Norvel and Linda Smith, Smyrna, TN, two daughters and their husbands, Dee and Randy Turner, McLouth, KS and Cynthia and Steve Smith, Stilwell. KS., 10 grandchildren, four step-grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials to Alphapointe Foundation (Alphapointe.org), 7501 Prospect, KCMO 64132 or to the Capital Building Campaign, Leawood United Methodist Church, 2915 W. 95th St., Leawood, KS 66206.
stan wright joins alphapointe as director of information technology
Alphapointe is pleased to announce the hiring of Stan Wright in the position of Director of Information Technology. Stan comes to Alphapointe with over 17 years of experience in the IT field. Stan has held several position in the field of information technology including Network Specialist, Network Engineer, IT Operations Manager, Director of IT Operations and Vice President of IT. Stan has worked with companies such Aquila, a utility provider of gas, electricity, water and energy trading, and SureWest Communications, a Telecommunications provider of telephone, television and internet. Stan holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science/Physics from Ball State University.