Buffalo, NY – This September, Wegmans Food Markets received VIA, Visually Impaired Advancements’ first annual Socially Responsible Partner of the Year award.
STARTING THE PARTNERSHIP
In 2019, VIA partnered with Wegmans as they ventured into a business line to generate revenue while expanding job opportunities for people who are visually impaired. Across 100 stores, Wegmans’ food-handling employees changed their gloves an average of 55 times a day. This need created a partnership for VIA’s visually impaired workforce and the supermarket chain.
JOB SECURITY FOR INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE BLIND AND VISUALLY IMPAIRED
Fast forward two years, VIA is now recognizing Wegmans for supporting their Social Enterprise model, recognizing the capabilities and employment contributions of people who are blind or visually impaired, and promoting a positive impact on the community and VIA’s mission.
“Many businesses do not have a good understanding of the true scope of abilities of people who are blind or visually impaired,” said Ray Ludwig, VIA’s VP of Manufacturing, Distribution, and Business Development.
“Presenting the award to Wegmans has allowed VIA to express sincere gratitude for the partnership and communicate the success this partnership is contributing to our Industries program.”
VIA Industries program employs over 21 people, more than 75 percent of whom are blind or visually impaired. Many of these employees build the boxes and package the gloves for Wegmans.
“The partnership with Wegmans has provided VIA’s Industries department the opportunity to increase employment to individuals who are experiencing blindness or visual impairments.” Danielle Vacco, Director of Human Resources, said. “It has been wonderful to see these new faces walk through the doors ready to work to support themselves and their families. We thank Wegmans for this partnership that has in return helped more individuals in our community who experience blindness or low vision and their families live fuller, more productive, and independent lives.”
About VIA – There is no denying a diagnosis with vision changes or visual loss can present challenges. However, it does not change who you are, what you believe or, what you want to accomplish.
For over 100 years, VIA: Visually Impaired Advancement has provided rehabilitation and social services to individuals in Western New York who are visually impaired. We pride ourselves on being a comprehensive resource for people experiencing vision loss or who are legally blind to help them adapt to new ways of independence. Our team of vision professionals will customize services to help you manage vision loss at any age.
To learn more, visit viawny.org.