EAST TEXAS (KYTX) - Since 1976, an East Texas business has help edits employees with rehabilitation, education, training and employment. Tonight in the Emmy award winning, J.B.'s Journal, J.B. Smith shows us how these special East Texans are giving back to their country.
Take a look at this assembly line of workers. "They're very proud of their job,need very
Now take a closer look. "There are 53 direct labor employees and 82
percent of those are visually impaired or blind." Larry Reed has been blind since the age of eight, but he doesn't want to sit at home all day.
"We have 40 hour job, we get out, go to work, take care of our families." Their pride is shown on the shirts they wear and in the quality of the parachute cords they make.
"Here at the Lighthouse for theBlind, these folks produce 38,000 miles of cord for the military in just one year, that's enough to go around the entire Earth one and a half times."
Ina Arteaga winds the spool and checks for knots under the watchful eyes of her guide dog Jasmine.
"I feel everything, I'm totally blind, feel everything to make sure it's put on the machine right."
Carefully navigating their surroundings, team members easily can detect by touch if the cord has a flaw.
"When we send it out, our reputation depends on it, even though we are visually impaired or blind, we have to make sure we feel good when it goes out."
Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have used the cords for jumping and also as a utility cord.
"It has a minimum break strength of 550 pounds per inch, made of nylon, 7 strands of cord that are
weaved together." "These guys truly understand what an impact
they have on war fighters and how they support them." "Our jobs, helping the military,keeping
them safe, bringing them home back safely."
For CBS 19, I'm J.B. Smith
"Don't let no one tell you you can't do anything, all things are possible through God."
And that's my story.
Besides cords, the East Texas Lighthouse for theBlind also makes other products for the department of defense and GeneralServices
Administration including wipes, napkins and paper towels.