Industries for the Blind plans expansion

West Allis-based Industries for the Blind plans to build a $3 million, 48,562-square-foot addition to its 90,000-square-foot facility at 445 S. Curtis Road. The project will also include alterations to the building’s mezzanine area to create about 8,000 square feet of new office space.
For the expansion project, about 28,000 square feet of the space will be used for distribution operations and another 20,000 square feet of space will be used for new manufacturing business ventures, said president and CEO Chuck Lange.
“We are working on a number of products that are in development,” he said. “We are anticipating that they will be successful to the point that we will need to expand in order to produce them.”
Industries for the Blind is a non-profit organization, with a mission to provide jobs for blind and visually impaired individuals. The company has 260 employees, including 150 in West Allis, and plans to add another 25 to 50 employees in West Allis as part of the expansion project, Lange said. About 75 percent of the company’s employees are visually impaired or blind.
The organization manufactures several different products, primarily for government customers, but also provides some products to private customers including Wal-Mart.
The expansion project is expected to break ground by August, Lange said.

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