LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Two days into October and the unemployment rate is around eight percent.
But for the blind community -- seven out of ten folks are without jobs.
THV's Lauren Scott spend the day at Arkansas Lighthouse where they have about 120 employees, and 80 of those are blind. She spoke with some of those workers who say it's a double whammy- trying to find a job in this economy, with a disability.
Danny Novielli says, "It's very difficult for people who are blind to find a job." He goes on to say, "I fumbled around for eight or nine months and while I was waiting, I went back to school."
And it paid off, as Novielli is now the chief operation officer at Arkansas Lighthouse. "I just do things differently than 'the typical people,' the iPhone is a savior to me."
Novielli says Lighthouse is the first job for many of their employees, like seamstress Kimberly Clements. She didn't get her first job until age 33, but not from lack of trying.
Clements says, "Back before I started working here, I wouldn't have imagined myself a seamstress. It took me six months to sew a straight seam and get it right." She says that with patience and the right training, she got it down. And now, five years later, she's putting together shirts for the Army and Navy.
With nearly 70 percent of the blind community unemployed, it's a job Clements doesn't take for granted.
Lighthouse produces about $7 million a year in products.