Temporaries Inc. has weathered two recessions since it was founded here in 1969, and Barry Wright, the company's founder and president, is confident it will survive and possibly thrive during the current one.
"Companies are forced to take a hard look at their staffing situation in tight times," Wright said. "At that point they position themselves with lean employment situations and rely on temporary services to fill in."
The current economic climate has meant that Temporaries has had to tighten its collection work as well as reduce its expansion plans for the near future. Still Wright expects revenues to fall in the $25 to $30 million range this year. The company has 28 offices in 18 major markets throughout the country with plans to open a medical service office in Miami and a satellite office, probably in Van Ness Center, later this year.
Temporaries provides employment for between 15,000 and 17,000 people nationwide, most of the work consisting of skilled labor such as data processing.
Wright says that the key to the company's success is that it provides temporary employes with full-time benefits and a pay scale comparable to full-time salaries. Benefits include paid vacation, lunch allowance, a credit union, major medical hospitalization and a seniority bonus plan for employes with more than three years with the company.
In the Washington area, Temporaries has as customers a variety of associations, law firms and private firms. One of its biggest customers in Communications Satellite Corp. Temporaries has more 2,000 people to draw from in this area who can be on the job with very short notice.
"In 10 years I've seen a definite upgrade in the temporary industry in general," Wright said. "At one time it was thought of as a place for people who couldn't get or hold a regular job and now it's a vital part of the American labor force." Wright said that the latest estimates available indicate that 5 percent of the work force in the United States is employed through temporary services.
The people who work for Temporaries run the gamut from homemakers, students, teachers, people who have just arrived in town or are in between jobs and people in need of a second income. "Washington is a good second income market," Wright said.
"There is a lot of evening and weekend work available."
Through a subsidiary, Temporaries also helps hospitals and nursing homes who are short of nursing personnel.
"The proudest thing for me in our 10-year history is the acceptance we've had in every city," Wright said. "And the fact that we've been able to develop into a national company in 10 years is indicative that the industry is healthy."