Click through to read the journeys of employees who have achieved success through employment at Alphapointe.
Antonio Arbelo enlisted in the U.S. Navy in February 1985. After basic and advanced training, he was assigned to an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit. Wounded on a mission, he lost sight in one eye and was medically discharged in 1992.
He worked for 10 years for the city of Kansas City, supervising a crew of 15 men who maintained the city’s water system infrastructure, but retired after losing vision in his other eye as a complication of renal failure.
Not ready to quit the workforce completely, Arbelo joined Alphapointe in October 2016. As a full-time packer and machinist in the plastics department, he helps fulfill Alphapointe’s VA contract making medicine bottles.
He appreciates the work and the veterans he serves.
“It gives me purpose.”
Jay Browder is a machine operator in the Plastics Department at Alphapointe. He lost his sight at 19 from a gun shot accident but empowered himself successfully through college, making the necessary adaptations to earn his degree. He came to Alphapointe in 2015, working in different departments before finding his niche in Plastics. He never finds his work or the job tedious because there is something new in every day to learn and grow.
“[My work] encourages me and motivates me to come in every day and work hard.”
David Brown, a Kingsbridge resident, has worked at Alphapointe for over 10 years David works as needed between assembly, plastics and needlecraft. He always gets the job done and is vital to the flow of those departments. In 2017 he was awarded the Peter J. Salmon Employee of the Year Award for his hard work ethic and positive attitude.
He’s happy to help wherever he’s asked and his knowledge of our operations and willingness to speak up has made him a major contributor to our safety committee.
Helen Hahn is the Braille and Academics Instructor at Alphapointe and she is also legally blind. She has been an educator for decades and continues to empower individuals who are blind to keep going and not give up on themselves despite blindness.
“She is a huge mentor and a wonderful, positive person in my child’s life.” – Parent of one of Helen’s students.
Alphapointe has provided her with not only meaningful employment, but a chance to be an example for people of all ages who are blind or visually impaired.
Kirby Hough has optic nerve atrophy, a condition that, before she was born, stunted the development of the optic nerves that connect her eyes to her brain. She can barely make out details beyond a few inches away. But she has no limits.
“I don’t feel like a burden or a handicap at all. Why should I act like one?”
She has been a valued employee at Alphapointe working as a Contract Closeout Specialist in our Contract Management department. She serves on the Employee Committee and volunteers for many youth events acting as a mentor to youth with vision impairments.
Guy Latronico had to leave his position as a manager at Staples when he was diagnosed with Macular Degeneration and began to lose his vision.
Guy then found Alphapointe – New York.
“Alphapointe is not just a regular job, I now have a sense of purpose. Just because I have a disability doesn’t mean I am disabled.”
Guy is presently a Supervisor at Alphapointe and was recognized for his superior work record and leadership of others with the Advocacy of Leadership Award from the National Industries for the Blind.
Brittany Long was always taught to confidently state her disability in a job interview, until job after job turned her down. She became ashamed and sad and worrisome that she would never find meaningful employment.
Then she found Alphapointe.
“I take on each new task like it is the most important one no matter how small, and when I finish a job I celebrate it”
At 16, Cheryl was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa. She finished high school and graduated from Missouri State University and began her career in the mortgage industry. She stopped working after 10 years due to her vision loss.
In 2015, Cheryl toured Alphapointe and enrolled in training. Cheryl received training in Braille, Orientation & Mobility, Activities of Daily Living and Adaptive Technology.
“My goal was to go back to work. As I spent more time at Alphapointe – I realized I really loved being here”
Cheryl now she serves as our Intake Coordinator for our Low Vision Services and manages the Connecting Pointe store.
In 2017, Cheryl was awarded the Milton J. Samuel Career Achievement Award. She is very organized and handles all of her duties as the Intake Coordinator very seriously, constantly doing kind things for others when they least expect it. Cheryl is heavily involved in fundraising and special events.
Before being diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa, Ricardo Rivera worked as a security agent. He lost his vision in 2004.
During his employment at Alphapointe, he has developed the skills that allow him to have a meaningful job. In the training they taught him to use all his senses to carry out the work in the production of litter straps and tourniquets.
“It is a job that fills my heart because it is a product used by soldiers, my father was a soldier and I work with my heart for them.”
Partnering with Alphapointe means more than fulfilling a business need. It gives back to your community. We can be a dependable, talented resource for you. We empower and train people with vision loss, providing your business with highly-qualified job candidates:
- Desire to work and be productive
- Client and Employer support from Alphapointe
- On-the-job training
- Tax incentive
- Accommodations can be purchased for the client/employee
- Potential employee has been pre-screened
- Additional training to gain skills necessary for job specific tasks
- Can perform the essential functions of the job with or without accommodations