Co-packer Provides Opportunity for Adults with Disabilities

Nonprofit Co-packer provides secondary packaging services and offers employment opportunities to adults with disabilities.


Quick hits:

  • BCI Packaging, a pilar of Boone Center, Inc. (BCI), is a nonprofit co-packer with a social mission to employ adults with disabilities.
  • Based in St. Peters, MO, this contract packager offers shrink wrap, shrink sleeve, steam tunnel, pouch sealing, poly bagging, display assembly, kitting, quality inspection, rework and sorting, and ink jetting for a variety of markets.
  • As labor struggles for co-packers and co-manufacturers are at an all-time high, BCI is swimming in talent as adults with disabilities are lining up to join its workforce.
  • Simultaneously, BCI is also developing and churning out skilled workers that go on to be placed in other packaging and co-packing facilities near BCI’s Midwest locations.  

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   Read the transcript below:

Hello, I’m Natalie Craig, I’m the features editor of Packaging World Magazine, and I’m back with another edition of Take Five.

I recently attended the Contract packaging Association’s annual ENGAGE event which united contract packagers and manufacturers to talk about industry trends and challenges.

There I met BCI Packaging and learned that they were a nonprofit co-packer with a social mission to employ adults with disabilities. Based in St. Peters, MO, this contract packager offers shrink wrap, shrink sleeve, steam tunnel, pouch sealing, poly bagging, display assembly, kitting, quality inspection, rework and sorting, and ink jetting for a variety of markets.

As labor struggles for co-packers and co-manufacturers are at an all-time high, BCI is swimming in talent as adults with disabilities are lining up to join its workforce. Simultaneously, BCI is also developing and churning out skilled workers that go on to be placed in other packaging and co-packing facilities near BCI’s Midwest locations. 

All the while, BCI maintains a high-quality rating and reputation.

BCI Packaging was founded in 1959 with the goal of providing meaningful employment to adults with disabilities. The company started making candles in its St. Charles. In 1990, The company entered the co-packing industry. And what the company quickly found out is adults with disabilities are amazing at repetitive tasks. 

In a typical assembly line in BCI’s facility, there are skilled line workers, as well as adults with disabilities. There are also line leads and production supervisors that are overseeing one or multiple lines. An assistant manager and production manager double-check setups and skill levels across the board. Program coaches will help develop skills for adults with disabilities while quality auditors check each line at least eight times a day to make sure that the company is meeting products up to spec and that quality is up to the up par.

I spoke with BCI packaging about a recent project that required quick problem solving and adaptivity while also providing more jobs for adults with disabilities. 

BCI company was handling a 114-count jar fill by hand with five people on the line. Line people were manually filling, weighing, and heat sealing the jars, achieving five completed pallets a day. However, the customer requested more output. So, not only did BCI automate parts of the line to increase output up to 25 pallets a day, but they also made it so that they could employ 15 adults with disabilities on that line. 

There is so much more to learn about BCI Packaging and its social mission. You can find an in-depth profile of this company on packworld.com.

Thank you so much for joining me today on this episode of Take Five.

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