Customized Distribution Services Inc. (CDS), a national provider of third-party logistics and warehousing services, is making a significant impact on the Muskogee area through its dedicated partnership with the Oklahoma Department of Correction (ODOC) Work Release/Reentry Program. With operations spanning coast-to-coast and over 30 years of experience, CDS has been an integral part of the Muskogee/Fort Gibson community for over two decades.
In alignment with its commitment to community growth and development, CDS recently expanded its Muskogee, OK distribution center, now employing nearly 200 individuals in the region. This expansion has been possible thanks to the unwavering support from the Greater Muskogee Area Manufacturing Alliance and the Port Muskogee economic development staff, enabling CDS’ business to thrive in this vibrant community.
“We are thrilled to be a part of the positive impact that CDS is making on the Muskogee community,” said Kimbra Scott, Executive Director of Port Muskogee. “Their commitment to growth and development aligns perfectly with our mission to foster a vibrant and inclusive business environment. We are proud to support CDS in their expansion, and their partnership with the ODOC Work Release/Reentry Program showcases the power of second-chance employment in transforming lives and contributing to the success of our community.”
Recognizing the importance of workforce development, the Port Muskogee Economic Development staff facilitated introductions to the ODOC Reentry Program, enabling CDS to engage with this transformative initiative. As a result, approximately 50 hard-working and dedicated returning citizens are now part of CDS, working to transition back to everyday life and building brighter futures for themselves and their families.
Russell Tyler, the Company’s Regional General Manager, commented “CDS is deeply humbled by the support of the Muskogee community. The Company has been in this area for over 20-years and has strong connections to the people of Muskogee and Fort Gibson. We couldn’t be prouder of the logistics professionals on our team and are very excited to partner with the ODOC on its’ reentry program. This is a great program that helps companies thrive and returning citizens find a productive way forward.”
About ODOC Work Release/Reentry Program: The Oklahoma Department of Correction (ODOC) collaborates with communities throughout Oklahoma to offer work release opportunities at local companies. The work release program allows eligible inmates to seek, obtain, and maintain employment in the community before the end of their incarceration. Through this initiative, inmates gain vital life skills, financial literacy, and the chance to create a new post-incarceration life. By developing the work ethic necessary to succeed in today’s workforce, inmates increase their probability of successfully reentering the community and reduce the likelihood of returning to prison. The program benefits not only the inmates but also the employers, as they gain dependable employees and contribute to changing justice-involved lives.
In 2023, ODOC relocated community-level inmates from the Oklahoma City Community Corrections Center to the Dr. Eddie Warrior Correctional Center in Taft, re-establishing the work release program in the Muskogee community. CDS played a pioneering role by becoming the first company in the Muskogee area (Fort Gibson) to open its doors to the program. As a dedicated supporter and partner, the company shares the agency’s values and vision to help change lives and foster a more inclusive and thriving community. Natalie Cooper, administrator of Community Corrections and Contract Services, said this collaboration is a no-brainer for ODOC. “We are extremely grateful for this partnership with CDS and the Muskogee community to continue to help us achieve our vision – We Change Lives!”
Work release programs are available in Enid, Lawton, Oklahoma City, Ponca City, Taft (Muskogee), Union City, and Vinita. For businesses interested in becoming second-chance employers and providing eligible inmates with valuable work opportunities, please visit the ODOC website for more information about work release opportunities.