WICHITA, Kan. - "Envision" in Wichita makes plastic products for the U.S. Military. But with government cutbacks and sequestration, the company had to diversify.
"Envision" now makes disposable, sustainable tableware for Brooklyn-based, "Susty Party," the company competing on the May 2nd episode of "Shark Tank" on ABC.
"Initially, we weren't allowed to say anything," says Envision Senior Vice President Mike Montana. "And we don't know the results of the show, so we'll know when that comes out and they're not allowed to tell us what happened. So, as we've been able to discuss it with folks, it's very exciting."
More than 50-percent of Envision's workforce is visually impaired--it's the company's mission.
Kyle Shaults was born with glaucoma, and has been with Envision for three years.
"People who are fully blind, who've never seen anything, are able to do a lot more than a lot of people who have sight," says Shaults. "We have plenty of machine operators around here who are fully blind and I think it's pretty awesome."
Studies show that more than 70-percent of the blind or visually impaired are unemployed. Envision's CEO, Michael Monteferrante, says that needs to change. The company sponsors programs outside the workplace for the visually impaired.
"It's really creating a lot of activities for folks who are blind or visually impaired to become engaged and socialized and have fun and advance their lives and improve the quality of their lives," says Monteferrante.
Envision is branching out into other products as well. It's about to launch a line of pet products, including highly reflective belts and dog collars.
Two hours of Shark Tank programming starts on May 2nd, beginning at 7 p.m. on KAKEland. The episode featuring "Susty Party" and Envision starts at 8 p.m.