The story of Bestwork Industries for the Blind, Inc. is a story of vision, persistence, and evolving progress, which has resulted in opportunities for training and productive employment for many people who are blind and visually impaired.
Bestwork was founded in 1981 by James Varsaci, a veteran
who lost his sight during World War II, and a former manager of the Camden, New Jersey based, State Workshop Program employing people who are blind and visually impaired. When the state decided it was unable to fund and maintain its workshops, Varsaci was determined to explore every avenue to prevent the loss of jobs for his colleagues in Camden, New Jersey. He drew upon the efforts of public citizens willing to serve on a Board of Directors, and obtained a small grant from the New Jersey Commission for the Blind. As a result of his dedication, perseverance, and organizing abilities, Bestwork Industries was incorporated on September 14, 1981, as a private not-for-profit agency under New Jersey law, and recognized as such by the Internal Revenue Service.
Varsaci learned that there were Federal Government contracts available through the JWOD (Javits, Wagner, O'Day) program for workers who are blind or visually impaired. With the help of the National Industries for the Blind (NIB), the Bestwork Board of Directors, and other concerned citizens, Varsaci was successful in securing Bestwork's first JWOD contract. The organization adopted an operating philosophy that said producing work of the highest quality would lead to other opportunities. It has done just that! Over the years Bestwork Industries has acquired a reputation for high quality, detailed workmanship, and on-time delivery. This reputation has resulted in our being awarded contracts to produce mission critical items for the Army, Navy, and for GSA. And in so doing we are able to provide employment opportunities for people with visual impairments.