Jim Rondenelli, WIBX

Senator Charles Schumer was at the Central Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Utica on Wednesday to launch a push to save more than 100 jobs there.

Under a 1971 law, the federal government must purchase certain supplies from non-profit agencies employing the blind and visually impaired.

But Schumer says the General Services Administration has turned over distribution of those products to private companies like Staples, cutting the work flow at places like CABVI and putting jobs at risk.

Schumer says CABVI has lost over $700,000 in sales as a result of the changes.

Schumer is calling on the General Services Administration to develop tools and resources that federal agencies and government offices can use to ensure that they're adhering to the Javits-Wagner-O'Day Act.

The Central Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired makes products for the government including file folders, rubber bands, examination gloves and pens and pencils.