Daily Archives: June 26, 2013

Envision closes Kansas City plant, lays off 30 employees while restructuring

WICHITA — Envision has closed a Kansas City manufacturing plant and laid off 21 people there and nine in Wichita, but new president and CEO Michael Monteferrante says he’s instituting a restructuring that will position the nonprofit to flourish.

“Obviously, it’s a very difficult and painful situation to lay off employees, especially blind (employees),” he says. “Sometimes it takes a very tough decision.”

Monteferrante says the government’s sequestration “has caused a reduction of revenue of about 36 percent at Envision, which is a tough situation because 92 percent of our revenue is generated through the United States military.”

Although Envision has done what Monteferrante calls a “magnificent job” in expanding services for the blind and visually impaired, he says, “What we’ve done is we’ve remained very one dimensional on our revenue stream, which is making bags for the military.”

Envision manufactures a variety of plastic bags.

“We have to focus on diversification,” Monteferrante says. “We’re not going to be so dependent on the government.”

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Town & Country isn’t closing anytime soon, despite what some concerned diners fear

WICHITA — Town & Country diners are panicking that one of their favorite restaurants may close, but owner Larry Conover says that’s not happening – at least not anytime soon.

“Eventually, this place will be tore down,” he says of making room for a highway bypass. “It will happen.”

The restaurant, which opened in 1957, is on West Kellogg near Interstate 235.

Conover says it’s his understanding that there’s no money for the highway project right now.

He says he’s beginning to think it may not even happen in his lifetime.

“It may be another 100 years. I don’t know.”


You don’t say

“We made a mistake using an out-of-town vendor. Looking back, definitely work with someone local on LEDs.”

Genesis Health Clubs owner Rodney Steven, who is suing what he calls an unresponsive out-of-state company that he says installed such faulty LED lights that he’s had to revert to the traditional lighting he previously had

Department for Children and Families explains search for new Wichita space

WICHITA — A spokeswoman for the Department for Children and Families, formerly known as SRS, says the Finney State Office Building in Wichita is no longer adequate for the agency.

On Monday, Have You Heard? reported that nine state agencies, including more than 700 employees, will leave the building at 230 E. William when the state’s lease expires on Sept. 30, 2014.

Rep. Jim Ward, D-Wichita, questioned the motives for leaving, and Department of Administration spokesman Chuck Knapp said each agency would have to explain for itself.

DCF has the largest presence in the building with more than 550 employees. DCF spokeswoman Theresa Freed was unavailable to comment at the time but is available now.

“The reason we’re leaving is that the facility doesn’t meet our needs anymore,” Freed says.

She says part of the issue is that the office is spread out over multiple floors.

“It’s difficult to, obviously, have to go between the floors for the clients and the staff.”

Freed says a change in the agency’s business model in which it tries to get immediate answers for people who apply for benefits is leading to something of a logjam in its lobby area.

“The lobby at that building just isn’t adequate,” she says.

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