Quality Personnel Services acquires Cambridge Staffing

A growing temporary employment agency from the Milwaukee area has agreed to acquire Cambridge Staffing Inc. of Cedar Rapids, its second recent acquisition in the Cedar Rapids market.

QPS Employment Group of Brookfield, Wis., has 31 locations and over 20,000 associate employees. It has agreed to acquire Cambridge, with locations in Iowa City, Davenport and Cedar Rapids, effective Monday.

Cambridge Staffing and its Cambridge TEMPositions business has at least 7 core employees and about 300 temporary employees.

QPS entered the Iowa market on Feb. 13 when it acquired Ames-based USA Staffing, with 10 locations including one in Cedar Rapids.

The Cedar Rapids market, with its strong industrial base, "fits perfectly into the kind of business we supply with its manufacturing and distribution base," said Jim Roy, regional vice president of the company.

Roy said another advantage of the Cambridge TEMPositions purchase was the company's 33-year record with area employers.

"We're a new player in town but we immediately gain 30-plus years of history," Roy said.

Cambridge TEMPositions owner Mike Cambridge of Cedar Rapids said that at age 72, he was ready to retire. The ownership transition will strengthen the company, he said, and employees are enthusiastic.

Economic uncertainties and regulatory changes like health care reform potentially raising the cost to operate the business made retirement more enticing, Cambridge said. He praised QPS for its willingness to expand in the uncertain economic and regulatory climate.

"A lot of people are sitting on their hands, waiting to see what's going to happen with the economy, and these guys are not," Cambridge said.

Cambridge also praised QPS' technology platforms, which include a paperless web-based application process.

The temporary employment sector is known for being one of the first to shed jobs heavily when the economy tanks, and one of the first to add jobs coming out of a recession.

Roy said QPS' business fell in 2009, but set a new record in 2010 and bested that record in 2011. The company specializes mainly in light industrial and distribution positions.

Cambridge Careers was known for publishing a quarterly survey of area employers' hiring intentions that provided an insight into the local economy. Roy said QPS provides a similar kind of survey.

Cambridge operated a service for job seekers, Cambridge Careers, until folding it into Cambridge TEMPositions a few years ago due to the economy. It has operated as many as five locations and issued about 60,000 W-2 forms during the company's history, Cambridge said.

Over the years, its temporary employment has ranged between 250 and 735.Terms of the sale were not disclosed, but includes a lease on Cambridge Staffing's building at 610 32nd Ave. SW.

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