In May of 2011, construction began on the Commission's Skills Center in Albuquerque. The Skills Center is intended to be a state-of-the-art training facility that will meet the training needs of the Commission's vocational rehabilitation and independent living, and older blind consumers. The Skills Center is expected to begin serving consumers during 2012. It is located in an area of the building that had once been home to a "sheltered workshop" where blind persons sewed tote bags and made other products sold to the federal government. These activities ceased being economically viable with the lifting of federal import restrictions on textile products. By repurposing the space, the Commission is making it possible for generations of blind persons to obtain the training that will enable them to become employed and live more independently.