Ten years ago, Career Opportunity Development, Inc. (CODI) in Egg Harbor City, NJ purchased an industrial paper shredder in hope that it would provide a new opportunity for consumers to earn money. The economy was collapsing, businesses were closing and unemployment was skyrocketing. Businesses were moving out of South Jersey having a rippling effect on CODI’s outsource center piecework.
At the same time concern for identity theft increased. People want their personal information destroyed and businesses need to destroy old files and records. Despite the worsening economic conditions, in a short time CODI purchased another shredder. And another! Word spread about CODI and the work people with disabilities were doing destroying documents. CODI provides a needed service and the community is supporting these incredible individuals. Each year more and more paper comes in to be shredded. Atlantic County Utilities Authority (ACUA) put CODI’s service on their website. The shredders are running every weekday.
In the spring of 2015, a baler was donated to CODI from Jersey Cape Diagnostic, Training, and Opportunity Center. Now paper and cardboard is baled and sold to a vendor, increasing revenue for the shredding business.
In November 2015 the CODI shredding business became completely consumer run! It is so exciting to see these hard workers interact with customers, shred their paper, maintain the machines and keep accurate records. Customers are thrilled to see very capable individuals run the business.
CODI is excited that a vision years ago has become a small business employing people with disabilities. It provides employment as well as pride and dignity for the working individuals.
- Bruce Sarfert, Vice President of Operations