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From left, led by Leah Ann Iaguessa, Tim Massey and Paula Adams, Penmac Staffing Services Inc. is in its 30th year of operation.
SBJ photo by Wes Hamilton
From left, led by Leah Ann Iaguessa, Tim Massey and Paula Adams, Penmac Staffing Services Inc. is in its 30th year of operation.

2018 Economic Impact Awards 30+ Years in Operation Finalist: Penmac Staffing Services Inc.

Workforce Connector

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Paula Adams, president of Penmac Staffing Services Inc., recalls her mom Patti Penny expressing her surprise at the company’s growth during a recent 30th anniversary celebration for the business.

Penny, who founded the company in 1988, never dreamed the Springfield-based professional staffing company would grow to its current size of 35 offices in nine states with 170 in-house employees, Adams says.

“I mean, she thought she could make $20,000 a year and that would be pretty good,” Adams says with a laugh. “She never dreamed it would ever, ever take off the way it’s gotten. We’ve just been very blessed.”

The company recorded 2017 revenue of $114.2 million. Penmac began operations right when the concept of human resources was beginning to explode in the late 1980s and early ’90s, Adams says. 

“Mom started Penmac just at a great time, when temporary staffing was really starting to take hold in that light industrial sector,” she says.

There was a growing amount of clerical work, but the idea of using temporary workers on a manufacturing line or in a distribution center just wasn’t seen much – particularly in this area, she adds.

The business was created to be service driven and involved in the community, Adams says, as company staff are encouraged to be volunteers. In addition, every branch office is given a budget to donate to local charitable causes.

Penmac serves as an annual presenting sponsor for Handbags of Hope, a fundraiser for Great Circle, and is involved in Suit Yourself, a boutique that provides clothing for women entering or re-establishing themselves in the workforce.

“We really try to help them get a leg up for their interviews, and then some outfits for them to wear to work until they can start getting on their feet,” Adams says. “It’s just another way to help people in the community.”

More than 25,000 associates were placed in jobs by Penmac last year, but as unemployment numbers continue to remain low – the current U.S. rate is 4 percent – Adams says she wishes they had even more associates to put to work.

Most of the company’s jobs are temp-to-hire, with a policy that if the employee works 480 hours or more for a client, they can be hired on at any time after that.

“Employers are looking for good, qualified candidates that they can bring on to their team,” she says. “There are lots of jobs, lots of opportunities, but it’s definitely a problem getting enough folks to go to work. We struggle with that, trying to get enough people.”

She knows how tough it can be to have people who desperately need work while the company has few places to send them.

“Everyone’s looking. It’s definitely an employee’s market,” she says. “But I’ve been on the other side, and I’d much rather have it this way.”

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