ALTON -- The Oregon County Sheltered Workshop at Alton is always looking for new projects and alternative ways for their employees to make money.
Assistant workshop manager Darrell Strain came up with the idea to purchase a shredder for the employees to operate.
"This is an excellent shredder for confidential document destruction. Documents shredded by this machine are shredded into small enough pieces that identity theft is impossible," Strain said.
Strain said the shredder was purchased for $3,900 and he said it will pay for itself in five years.
He said the employees at the workshop will offer shredding for business or individuals at a lower rate than anywhere else.
The fee will be, 0-10 pound of paper, $5; 11-20 pounds, $8; 21-30 pounds, $10; 31-60 pounds, $12; and over 60 pounds, the fee will be 20 cents per pound.
Strain said employees are capable of shredding 200 to 250 pounds of paper a day. He said the workshop issues a certificate of destruction when the work is done.
Strain said some of the documents that can be shredded include old bank records, old checks, old income tax statements, credit card applications or any documents with personal or business information on it.
The shredded paper will be sold to recycling and new paper will be made from it.
The workshop is located at 202 South Main Street in Alton.
The Workshop was formed in 1987 for the purpose of providing employment for disabled and handicapped people.
Dennis Foulks has served as workshop manager since 1992. The workshop is funded in part by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and Senate Bill 40. It operates on an annual budget of roughly $143,000 a year. Other funds come from grants and job contracts.
There are 17 employees at the workshop who work six hours a day, five days a week.
Besides working the shredder, employees wash and detail automobiles. They buy aluminum cans to re-sale. The employees have also built small wood projects such as bird houses and feeders, and wooden stakes that can be used in gardens or nurseries.
Strain said if a business should buy some type of merchandise in bulk such as batteries, the employees at the workshop can sort them.
Strain and Foulks both said the employees at the workshop are excellent workers. "They don't want to miss a day's work," Foulks said.
The workers are paid based on the percentage of the wage rate an average worker might make doing the same job.
The workshop is overseen by a board of directors appointed by the county commission.
"Our goal at the Oregon County Sheltered Workshop is to average-out. Our object is to have enough funds to meet our budget and enough work to keep our employees busy. Right now we are in need of work," Strain said.
Anyone who would like to use the services of the new shredder can call the workshop at 417-778-6332 for more information.