Queens, New York Assemblyman David I. Weprin and Lieutenant Governor Kathleen C. Hochul toured Alphapointes renovated headquarters on 123rd Street in Richmond Hill on Monday. The facility, which employs about 200 visually impaired or blind workers, is one of the largest employers of legally blind individuals in New York.
Weprin and Hochul joined Alphapointe staff including Scott Thornhill, Senior Manager of Public Policy, and Anthony M. Luisi, Director of Development for a tour of the 138,000 square foot facility; where Thornhill highlighted the millions of dollars in improvements that were made to the century old building to improve working conditions for the visually impaired. Weprin and Hochul learned of technological innovations like GPS devices that help employees navigate interior spaces with their phones and spoke to grateful workers who noted previous difficulty finding employment due to their disabilities. At the end of the tour, the Lieutenant Governor presented the organization with a proclamation for their efforts to train and employ workers who face high unemployment prospects.
Alphapointe was founded as a non-profit in Kansas City, Missouri in 1911 and currently has a presence in several states. The organization first located in Richmond Hill in 2017 after moving from Brooklyn due to rising rents. The company manufactures a variety of items from mops to military products while also offering job training for visually impaired individuals. According to the National Federation of the Blind nearly 70% of working age individuals with severe vision impairments lack full time employment.
As former Chair of the Assembly Task Force on People with Disabilities, I am inspired by Alphapointes 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, said Assemblyman David I. Weprin. I thank Alphapointe making this meaningful investment in my district and I thank Lt. Governor Hochul visiting Queens.