In 1983, the economy was in the throes of a recession with a peak unemployment rate of 10.8 percent, devastating established businesses and seemingly dooming new ones. But 35 years later, Express Employment Professionals not only survived those difficult circumstances, but grew into a $3.4 billion staffing company with more than 800 offices in three countries.
Thirty-five years ago, founders William H. Stoller, Robert A. Funk, and James Gray were left with a tough decision after the dissolution of their employer, Acme Personnel. The three banded together to form Express Employment Professionals and established the headquarters in Oklahoma City.
“Bob, Jim, and I began with the shared vision to help people find good jobs by helping clients find good people,” Express CEO Bill Stoller said. “Our shared values set the foundation of Express; based on integrity, supported by people, teamwork, and a philosophy of building a company that will endure. And upon that footing, the story of Express began.”
In 1986, the partners acquired the franchise rights to 30 Acme offices across the United States, officially entering the franchise business. Within five years, Express was ranked among the top staffing firms in the United States and was recognized as one of the fastest growing privately held companies in the country. By 1990, Stoller and Funk purchased Gray’s shares of the company.
In 2017, sales reached a record $3.4 billion through 800 franchise locations and the company put more than 540,000 people to work.
“Our company’s vision is to pair quality job seekers with reputable companies, and the sales numbers will follow,” Stoller said. “When an Express franchise owner opens a location, an average of 600 people are employed annually through that office. We know that families count on jobs to put food on the table, so we don’t take our mission lightly.”
As Express has expanded through the years, the staffing giant has received numerous awards, including being named the number one staffing franchise for seven consecutive years on the Entrepreneur Franchise 500 List and the designation of one of Forbes’ Best Franchises to Buy Under $150,000.
Staffing Industry Analysts also deemed Express one of the fastest growing major staffing companies and job seekers rated the company as one of the best to work with, as evidenced by the receipt of Inavero’s Best of Staffing Talent Award.
“There’s a reason we have been named the number one staffing franchise by Entrepreneur on its Franchise 500 List for seven years in a row. Business continues to boom for Express and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon,” Stoller said. “When business is soaring, you’ve got to take care of your people. There’s nothing more important than the employees of a company, and we want to invest and give something back to them for their dedication and hard work.”
Express Franchise Development
Closing in on 900 territories worldwide, the company recently announced the launch of its emerging brands equity investment and development company, Express Franchise Development.
Express Franchise Development will allow Express Employment Professionals to invest equity into emerging franchise brands while leveraging the staffing company’s world-class franchise development team and competencies as a 35-year proven franchisor.
“We have an incredible team of experts within our organization, so it makes sense to leverage our know-how, relationships and growth capital to elevate emerging franchise brands,” Stoller said. Additional investments in other emerging franchise brands are expected to be completed in 2018.
Express Employment Professionals has employed more than 6 million people since its inception and is committed to giving back to local communities. Recognizing that the children of today are the workforce of tomorrow, Express focuses on children as the beneficiary of its corporate contributions.
In 1991, Express became affiliated with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, which provides medical resources, research, and community outreach to help millions of children and teenagers in more than 170 hospitals in North America. To date, Express has contributed more than $4.8 million to the nonprofit. In 2017 alone, Express donated more than $1.14 million to charitable organizations through its philanthropic committee.
Through the Brand It Blue Initiative, Express franchise owners also support charities benefitting food pantries, animal shelters, youth organizations, and more. In recent years, franchise offices partnered with local food banks to help end chronic hunger. Between 2013 – 2017, Express staff, associates, clients, friends, and family provided nearly 600,000 meals through food drives, monetary collections and volunteer hours served.
As businesses constantly adapt to keep up with innovative technology and workforce demands, Express looks forward to offering streamlined solutions to a myriad of hiring needs for the next 35 years and beyond.
“Moving forward we will continue our mission of putting a million people to work, annually,” Stoller said. “We will continue our collaborative, people-centered approach and will continue to operate with integrity.”
For more information about Express Employment Professionals, visit ExpressPros.com.
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