Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
Temp Associates in Fairfield is in a new location, and the company is celebrating 35 years in Iowa this year.
In January 2020, the temp agency moved from its previous location at 200 W Low St. to 2709 W Briggs Ave. The move was inspired by a desire for more space, Sherry Savely, the manager of the Fairfield branch office said.
The new location is larger and offers more parking, Savely said. The space, suite 4 in a row of offices at the address, is 1,300 square feet and has four rooms, a lobby, and a large conference room.
The previous office had four rooms without a lobby and was about 900 square feet.
The building is also located right behind the Walmart off West Burlington Avenue, which Savely said makes the space easier to find.
The new space allows Savely and her account manager, Chelsey Haynes, to have their own offices and a separate room for interviews, which wasn’t an option at the previous location.
The conference room allows them to have larger meetings and orientations with new hires.
“A little more privacy all the way around, and that’s what we strive for,” she said. “Because when you’re talking to someone about jobs, they don’t want everyone else to hear all their news.”
Temp Associates is also celebrating its 35th year as a company this year. The company was founded in 1986 by current president Bob Jensen in Muscatine, Iowa.
The business is a staffing agency that helps employers find qualified employees to fill positions. The hires are employees of Temp Associates for the first three months, and then they become employees of the other company.
In 1995, the business began expanding, and eventually opened six other locations: Burlington, Clinton, Marshalltown, Mt. Pleasant, Fairfield and Grinnell.
The Fairfield office has been in town since 2007, Savely said, and it will be celebrating its 15th anniversary next year. Savely has been with the office for 11 years.
The Fairfield branch fills positions in manufacturing, at the hospital, at the Maharishi International University and various offices around Fairfield and Van Buren County.
For its 35th anniversary, Savely said the office held a “business after hours” event in May where they served food, beer, and welcomed clients and employees to enjoy the celebration. Members of the Fairfield Chamber of Commerce and area businesses also came.
“It was a great day, we had a good time with that,” she said.
In the fall, the office plans to run more promotions and celebrations as it approaches October, the month of the anniversary.
As a hiring agency, Savely said Temp Associates has been front and center to the economic roller coaster brought on by the pandemic. However, because of the businesses it works with, Temp Associates was still able to fill jobs in spring of 2020 when unemployment was high and jobs were scarce.
Savely said jobs were plentiful with its manufacturing partners and in housekeeping at the hospital even at the height of the pandemic. People kept using the business to find jobs, though some were hesitant to work because of health concerns.
Though the office reopened with precautions in place in May 2020, Savely said she had some initial difficulties conducting interviews by phone when the office was closed.
“I’m just so used to having someone come in and do a face-to-face interview because it just works so much better,” she said.
More recently, Savely said she’s seen another national trend reflected at her office: there are more job openings than people. Businesses of all types have reported having difficulty hiring, and “we’re hiring” signs have been posted outside many restaurants around Iowa and the country all summer.
“We just don’t have enough people for all the jobs that they’re looking,” she said. “Everyone’s short and working short.”
While this trend has been felt at Temp Associates, Savely said she’s seen an uptick in people coming in since the first week of July.
“I’m seeing more trickling in this week, since the Fourth, so I think that’s a positive sign,” she said.