Five years ago, the Lighthouse proudly opened our third manufacturing facility in Summerville, South Carolina. For eight years our manufacturing team searched for a location with access to public transportation, manufacturing ability, potential for expansion, and an under-served community. Summerville met every need.
Prior to the Lighthouse opening, there were few employment opportunities for individuals who are blind in the Tri-County area. Fortunately, the Lighthouse could provide blind employment in South Carolina. Our Summerville facility currently employs 14 employees who are blind. Eleven of those employees have been at the location for three years or longer.
Amanda Malone has worked at this location since it first opened five years ago. She watched as the number of workers grew from five to 16. “My coworkers are very funny. We laugh all the time. I think we are a great team.”
Many Summerville employees have expressed the difference it’s made to them to be around other people who are blind. “What helped me to cope with losing my vision is working around people who are visually impaired and totally blind. They understand me, and I get to learn from them,” shared Sharon Dunbar, Production Worker.
Roosevelt Stevenson, Production Lead, has worked at the Lighthouse for more than 20 years, first starting at the Seattle facility before moving to South Carolina. He shares, “I love training people, I love the reward.”
With plans for expanding accessible jobs, Summerville has an exciting future ahead!