McLain is a clerk at AIB’s satellite base supply center at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, and Robinson is a production line leader at AIB’s production facility in Talladega.
Both received certificates from the city proclaiming the day in their honor, and resolutions from the state legislature.
The Alabama Industries for the Blind began with five graduates of the Alabama School for the Blind and some used and borrowed sewing machines in 1932, when ASB teacher Mattie Smith took action to seek employment opportunities for blind Alabamians.
Today AIB employs almost 300 people, with manufacturing facilities in Talladega and Birmingham and supply centers at Redstone Arsenal, Moody Air Force Base in Georgia, and Fort Rucker in Dothan.
Sewing is still a major part of operations at AIB. Among other sewing jobs, AIB workers produce all of the neckties for the U.S. military and a variety of paper products.
Much of the production is specifically for federal agencies, thanks to laws directing them to purchase products and services from non-profit industries employing blind and disabled individuals.
In addition to federal agencies AIB serves state agencies, Lions Clubs, Federated Women’s Clubs and a strong base of commercial customers. In association with the National Industries for the Blind, AIB product lines include a variety of twist wire brushes, brooms, mops, flags, toner cartridges, screen printing and embroidery.
We’re proud of AIB’s part in the history of our area and the employees who provide high quality blind-made products to their customers.