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Scott Is Why We Exist

Our mission statement is clear: “provide employment opportunities for blind and visually impaired people to maximize their potential for independent living and assist in achieving economic self-support.”  In this series, you’ll meet the amazing individuals who FocusForward not only exists for, but exists because of their great work in this company.  In this installment meet the reason we exist-Scott Seaman:

Scott, how did you come to work at FocusForward?

My sister-in-law was a part of the committee that did the research to see what the needs were for a place like FocusForward, although then it was referred to as MidWest Enterprises for the Blind or MWEB, in Kalamazoo.  Once the company started the business and she asked me if I wanted to come to work here in March of 1995.

What was your first job here?

I packaged plastic flatware, which was the company’s very first contract with the federal government.  I liked what I was doing and worked hard. Later that year I was promoted to the role of Lead Worker.  Once I had a couple of years of work under my belt, I was promoted to assistant supervisor in 1997 and in 2003 I was promoted to production supervisor and have been doing that ever since.

How has working at FocusForward had an impact on you personally?

My leadership skills have evolved through working here and working with others in the organization.  I’ve appreciated working under the leaders I have had the privilege to be around.   Through them and through day to day experiences as I’ve moved up in the company, I’ve learned quite a bit about how to handle working with and leading people.

How do you feel FocusForward has had an impact in Kalamazoo?

Kalamazoo has been my home for years.  I know what FocusForward has meant to me, personally, but I don’t think many people know about us.  I wish they did! We’re actually a place where people come to work, earn a living wage, and do a quality job that they can be proud of.  I’m looking forward to more people learning about us, partnering with us, and FocusForward hiring more people like me.   

This has been a great opportunity for so many people who have come to work at FocusForward over the years I’ve been here.  It’s provided work for college students, parents, and folks needing a place to work as their sight starts to go.  Overall, I think it’s a very positive place for the people who have worked here.