Group Photo of the team at Inland Northwest Lighthouse

The team at Inland Northwest Lighthouse

For Inland Northwest Lighthouse (INL) in Spokane, 2009 was a banner year. As the year progressed, our Spokane team became a well-oiled machine thanks in large part to the dedication of our employees there. By the end of the year, we employed 35 blind individuals at INL, and we’re very thankful for all their hard work. Other highlights of the year include obtaining AS9100 certification in May, and hiring INL Production Manager Doug Weyer in July. Experienced in lean production, Doug worked with the production team to maximize efficiency and output without compromising quality.

Production workers Teri Jensen (left) and Shirley Deatherage (right) work on the file folder line at INL.

Production workers Teri Jensen (left) and Shirley Deatherage (right) work on the file folder line at INL.

Beginning in October, INL employees began producing the first of our new wallboards marketed and co-branded as Quartet®/SKILCRAFT® wallboards. By the end of the year, INL production workers were making 23 different wallboard models and had produced more than 40,000 individual boards. Wallboards had previously been produced at our Seattle location.

To commemorate the end of an extremely successful first year in operation, we held a celebratory lunch with barbeque, live music and entertainment, and tours of the INL facility. Joining in the celebration were several of our colleagues from National Industries for the Blind (NIB), ACCO Brands, and the General Services Administration (GSA). As a thank you for continued support through the transition of production from Seattle to Spokane, INL employee Kurt Lantz presented Jack Wise of GSA Region III with a commemorative 40,000th wallboard.

In addition to wallboards, Inland Northwest Lighthouse employees also produce or assemble most of the other items in our office products line, including hanging file folders, dry erase and chalkboard display easels, springback binders, and drop-knife paper trimmers.