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DePaul Industries Launches Two For-Profit Benefit Companies, Expands Nationally

The only organization in inaugural class of Oregon benefit companies wholly focused on "people" piece of triple bottom line announces PurposeSTAFF brand, plans national presence by 2020

Submitted by: DePaul Industries

Categories: Corporate Governance, Corporate Social Responsibility

Posted: Jan 07, 2014 – 07:00 AM EST


PORTLAND, Ore., Jan. 07 /CSRwire/ - In order to employ more individuals with disabilities across the nation, Portland-based DePaul Industries continues to blur the lines between nonprofit and for-profit with the formation of two wholly-owned benefit companies.

DePaul Industries, which remains a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, has just registered its private-sector staffing and packaging divisions as LLCs under new Oregon benefit company legislation. Benefit companies must consider impact to society and the environment in addition to profit, and DePaul Industries’ mission of creating employment opportunities for people with disabilities and other barriers to employment is included in the two companies’ bylaws.

“DePaul Industries has always looked more like a business than a nonprofit from the outside due to our self-sustaining, demand-driven model,” said DePaul Industries President & CEO Dave Shaffer. “The benefit company status is a great bridge structure for social enterprises like DePaul that want to use business as a successful driver of social good.”

DePaul Industries’ staffing arm, now rebranded as PurposeSTAFF to reflect its mission, will be expanding around the nation. DePaul is in talks with potential partners in an effort to open a number of new PurposeSTAFF locations in 2014. DePaul expects the PurposeSTAFF network, which will appeal to the rising number of companies interested in supporting social sustainability, to have an established national presence by 2020.

PurposeSTAFF has also earned B Corporation certification, as issued by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency.

DePaul’s food packaging division, DePaul Packaging, is a leading packaging and contract manufacturing specialist, primarily in packaging products like nuts, dried fruits, snack foods, spices, coffee and tea at the company’s 100,000 square foot Portland warehouse. Establishing DePaul Packaging as a benefit company will aid in the pursuit of international business opportunities, Shaffer said. Consumers in Asia are particularly interested in importing Northwest-grown products supplied and packaged by DePaul’s private label brand, Lost Coast Snacks.

“This inaugural class of benefit companies in Oregon is a part of the growing movement toward a ‘triple bottom line’ where companies’ missions are focused on a positive social return for people and the planet, as well as profit,” said Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown. “DePaul Industries—the only benefit company specifically focused on job creation—has a mission that underscores the ‘people’ part of this equation, bringing employment opportunities to people with disabilities and offering a model for nonprofits to run with business-like efficiency.”

About DePaul Industries
Since 1971, DePaul Industries has focused on changing the landscape of employment of people with disabilities while growing into a comprehensive outsourcing specialist. DePaul helps people with disabilities gain employment through a self-sustaining business model that generates more than 99 percent of revenue through three core businesses: temporary staffing services, food packaging and contract manufacturing, and security services. To date, DePaul has trained or employed more than 17,000 people with disabilities and paid wages and benefits of more than $210 million.

For more information, please contact:

Dave Shaffer President, CEO
Phone: (503) 331-3816
Twitter: @DePaulInd
Phone: (503) 799-2220
Twitter: @DePaulInd


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