Community Foundation and CABVI Announce Partnership On Building Project

The Central Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (CABVI) announced today a $14 million project that agency officials say addresses the health and wellbeing of people with vision loss for decades to come.

The effort is comprised of three components to expand employment opportunities for people who are blind, according to Rudy D’Amico, President and CEO of CABVI. “The agency purchased property recently adjacent to our headquarters at 507 Kent Street in Utica. We will begin construction on a $7 million, 23,000 square foot vision rehabilitation and wellness center in a few months. We have purchased, and now occupy, a 66,000 square foot building in Syracuse – a permanent home for CABVI Syracuse Industries.”

CABVI has secured funding assistance from a number of public and private partners including Empire State Development and The Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties.

“This project helps fulfill important priorities for The Community Foundation, including advancing local economic development, neighborhood revitalization and creation new employment opportunities,” said Alicia Dicks, President and CEO of The Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties. “We’re committed to social change and CABVI is helping to lead change of this nature right here in our community.”

CABVI is developing innovative new approaches to vision rehabilitation therapy which have the potential for international influence. Its services impact everyone from infants to seniors, and in the end, the agency will create 20 new jobs in Utica, many of which will be occupied by people who are blind.

The Community Foundation awarded a $200,000 grant to CABVI, which has received over $2 million in commitments from Empire State Development for both the Utica and Syracuse components of the project.