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VisionCorps to close Leola-area operations

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VisionCorps plans to shutter its West Earl Township facility, with officials for the nonprofit saying their building there does not meet the organization's needs.

VisionCorps provides rehabilitation and employment services for people with visual impairments. The West Earl Township facility, near Leola, is one of four locations used by the Lancaster-based nonprofit, according to VisionCorps' website.

The organization does not have an exact timeline yet for winding down operations in West Earl Township and will remain open until it has a more definitive plan in place. Its six employees there will eventually be transferred to VisionCorps' Lancaster facility.

VisionCorps has operated the West Earl Township facility at 171 Butter Road for about five years. The nonprofit has used the space to branch into food manufacturing and packaging, leading to contracts with the federal government.

VisionCorps owns the 20,000-square-foot building, which it uses primarily for dry food mixing and packaging. 

The building, however, is not easily accessible by public transit, creating an obstacle for some employees who have visual impairments. It also lacks "specific capabilities necessary for entertaining prospective partnerships and contracts," VisionCorps said in a news release Monday.

"We feel it is in our best interest to close operations in Leola and find a location that is more amenable to the kinds of opportunities we're seeing within the federal government, as well as the private sector. We also need to find a building that is accessible for our employees," said Dennis Steiner, VisionCorps' president and CEO.

VisionCorps is specifically looking into spaces large enough to accommodate work for major federal contracts, a spokesperson for the nonprofit said.

VisionCorps serves more than 2,000 people with visual impairments in Adams, Lancaster, Lebanon, Chester and York counties. It employs about 150 people, many of whom also have vision-related issues.

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Jennifer Wentz

Jennifer Wentz

Jennifer Wentz covers Lancaster County, York County, financial services, taxation and legal services. Have a tip or question for her? Email her at jwentz@cpbj.com. Follow her on Twitter, @jenni_wentz.

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