By Jonathan Sperling
Assemblymember David Weprin and Lieutenant Governor Kathleen Hochul toured the renovated headquarters of Richmond Hill’s Alphapointe manufacturing facility on Monday, one of the largest employers of legally blind people in New York State.
After the tour, Hochul presented the company with a proclamation for its efforts to train and employ workers who face high unemployment prospects.
“As former Chair of the Assembly Task Force on People with Disabilities, I am inspired by Alphapointe’s efforts to employ people with vision impairments. It is my hope that by bringing Lt. Governor Kathleen C. Hochul to this facility, we can replicate this successful enterprise across the state,” Weprin said. “I thank Alphapointe making this meaningful investment in my district and I thank Lt. Governor Hochul visiting Queens.”
Alphapointe’s Senior Manager of Public Policy Scott Thornhill highlighted that recent renovations to the 138,000 square foot facility has improved working conditions for the company’s employees who are visually impaired. For example, GPS devices that help employees navigate interior spaces with their phones
Workers at the company, which manufactures items ranging from mops to military products while also offering job training for visually impaired people, noted that they had previously experienced difficulty finding employment due to their disabilities. Nearly 70 percent of working age individuals with severe vision impairments lack full time employment, according to the National Federation of the Blind.