from Winston-Salem Journal***
by Richard Craver
A federal judge granted a stay Friday of a ruling that could significantly affect the future of IFB Solutions’ Winston-Salem optical lab and potentially 52 jobs.
Potentially at stake is $15.4 million in annual revenue for the nonprofit group formerly known as Winston-Salem Industries for the Blind Inc.***
The optical lab at IFB has 45 jobs filled by employees who are blind, including 43 locally, and seven filled by veterans, including three locally.
That judgment could have ended IFB’s eyeglass manufacturing contracts with the federal Veterans Administration as soon as Oct. 1.
The legal fight involves the VA as the defendant — with IFB joining as an intervenor — and PDS as the plaintiff. PDS says it is a small business owned by a disabled veteran. It has provided visual products to the VA since 1998.
***Winston-Salem Industries for the Blind Inc. is part of the AbilityOne national network.