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About

History

Mission Statement

MWEB provides employment opportunities for blind and visually impaired people to maximize their potential for independent living and assist in achieving economic self-support.

Who We Are

MWEB is a full-service assembly, warehousing and distribution facility that provides quality products and services to our customers. MWEB is dedicated to meeting our customers expectations in a timely, professional, and cost effective manner, while maintaining high standards of quality. Our expertise lies in light assembly, packaging and warehousing, and distribution services.

Company Story

MidWest Enterprises for the Blind, Inc. was formed in 1992. The co-founders determined that this organization would be unique to the Kalamazoo community and the state of Michigan. Research showed that there was a large population of individuals in Kalamazoo County who were legally blind and in need of wage-earning opportunities. There were ample resources in the area. For example, Western Michigan University boasted a highly successful blind rehabilitation program. The Bureau of Services for Blind Persons, located on Oakland Drive, housed a complete living skills and employment training facility, and served clients on a statewide basis. The first headquarters of MWEB was located at 147 S. Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Timeline

1993 - 1996

  • In February of 1993, MWEB received approval to operate as a Nonprofit 501(C)(3) Corporation and was determined a Not-for-Profit Corporation in the State of Michigan.
  • MWEB became affiliated with National Industries for the Blind.
  • Local companies were contacted to explore potential service projects and MWEB received its first contract for recycling toner cartridges and laser wands.
  • With the support and assistance of National Industries for the Blind, MWEB was soon awarded its first government contract-the packaging of plastic flatware for the U.S. military. The organization leased its first production and warehousing facility, approximately 4,000 square feet on South Street.

1997

  • In September of 1997, Industries for the Blind became the sole member of MidWest Enterprises for the Blind. The organization quickly became self-sufficient, employing up to 15 full- and part-time employees including a facility supervisor. MWEB maintained over 90% legally blind direct labor employees.

1998 - 2002

  • In 1998, MWEB moved to an 11,000 square foot facility with a loading dock at 3501 East Main Street, Kalamazoo, Michigan. This enabled MWEB to store customers' inventory and build final products to customer requirements.
  • In 2000, MWEB added 8 different calculator products to the Federal Procurement List, to be sold in the Federal Government marketplace.

2003 - 2008

  • In 2003, MWEB leased 27,000 square feet of space at 3308 Covington Rd, Kalamazoo, Michigan. The visually impaired employees earned competitive wages and benefits based on a fair production standard, which resulted in competitive prices to its customers.

2009

  • MWEB purchased a 39,000 square foot building at 2207 Lake Street, Kalamazoo, Michigan. After building renovations were completed, MWEB moved into the building on May 1, 2009. MWEB employed 30 people, 25 of whom are blind. In July 2009, four new items were added to the procurement list: three sizes of folding tables and one style of folding chair.

2010

  • MWEB was certified in Quality Management System (ISO 9001:2008) on June 10, 2010.

2013

  • MWEB celebrated its 20th anniversary of being in service. They held an open house and flag-raising ceremony, attended by Congressman Fred Upton, who donated a flag that had been flown over Washington, DC.
  • On March 25, 2013 seven additional folding tables and a 12 digit portable/desktop talking calculators were added to the procurement list.

2016

  • MWEB implemented a training center to promote professional development and growth by building and enhancing employees’ computer skills.

2017

  • Through the Ability One’s Procurement List, MWEB added two additional folding chairs in charcoal and espresso.
  • MWEB created a four-year strategic plan to grow the company, remaining strongly committed in its mission and vision to continue to provide employment to people who are blind.
  • MWEB received a certificate of registration for quality management systems ISO 9001:2015.