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Cardinal Staffing – APA Featured Member

Cardinal Staffing – APA Featured Member
Member of the Month
Cardinal Services Corporate Team
Cardinal Staffing Corporate Team

Cardinal Staffing was started about 27 years ago by Tom and Joni Fought. Combining Joni’s background in staffing and Tom’s in manufacturing, they wanted to build a company where people could be themselves and find a good balance between personal life and work. Today they still actively run the positive and inclusive business they created.

Tom and Joni Fought
Tom and Joni Fought

The company has expanded and moved from the original Port Clinton office to Arrowhead Park. “We’ve been here for 14 years now, with the last four years on Woodland Drive,” shared Christine Ice, Vice President Business Development. “Our 10th branch in Sterling Heights, Michigan just opened. Other branches are located in Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, and Florida. Areas of service also reach Wisconsin and Georgia.” Growth is on the horizon. Cardinal is working on expanding its regional footprint.

Cardinal Staffing essentially has two sides to keep happy: client companies and external employees. Their largest client segment is light industrial and manufacturing, but they serve as many industries as possible. They have a concentration of clients in local government, education, food companies, and print. Professional, clerical, administrative, and medical placements are part of their spectrum as well. “We want to serve the most candidates possible by covering a wide variety of fields. Our job is to place people, but we want to go further and offer the best thing for them, so we need a wide variety of opportunities,” continued Ms. Ice.

Jessica at Cardinal Staffing
Jessica Ragland, Recruiter

Sometimes the opportunities turn out differently than you think. The Illinois office was established to serve needs in the automotive industry but is now working with a wide range of position types. The Taylor, Michigan branch has automotive, but much of the new business is coming from the food industry.

Ms. Ice enjoys how all the branches work together. Cardinal is structured with a centralized database but also connected team members. Internal employees total more than 50 with about 7000-8000 placements a year. The internal employees are assigned to teams made of people across all branches working on similar tasks. Teams meet regularly to share information and ideas to serve their clients better. The huge, annual, company-wide meeting has fun, interaction, and education held most recently at the Toledo Zoo. Team retreat events are also scheduled to keep the teams close. President Joni Fought travels to branch locations and gets to know the staff personally.

Cardinal sets itself apart with a positive culture. They use positive reinforcement to help their external employees grow and reach their goals. “We are always going to back them up,” said Ms. Ice. “Our customer service is the same way. Honesty and integrity are our drivers. We work with our customers and external staff like we would our family and friends. We are always hoping placements will transition into long-term positions and careers. Temp-to-hire placements are preferred. Making opportunities for people feels really good!” concluded Ms. Ice.

Christina Ice
Christina Ice, VP Business Development

“For example, a recent high school graduate who needs to save for tuition approached Cardinal for a summer job. We sat down and talked about his goals. There were a variety of positions I could put him in. We choose the best one for him regarding pay and opportunity. You want to put them into a place where they will succeed. We chose a position for this young worker that provided a smooth entry for new hires,” related Ms. Ice.

Sometimes the job that a person wants (i.e. forklift driver) may not be available. Cardinal Staffing will discuss goals with job-seekers and could strategically place them in a job to get them in the door. When the position they want does open up, they can apply and will be known by the company. Centralized employment listings allow Cardinal to find opportunities in other regions if the worker is willing to relocate.

Ms. Ice enjoys her job. “It’s great to be out and about seeing changes in the workforce as they happen. When I first started, retail was hiring at minimum wage for short shifts. We were turning people away right and left. Now we have to work on selling positions during the current workforce shortage. Comparing Ohio and Michigan right now is interesting because the states are handling the pandemic situation differently. COVID benefits directly affect the available workforce. Where we don’t have enough candidates, we are grooming and getting ready for the pace to pick up,” she shared.

As a company, Cardinal Staffing supports the Toledo Symphony. They participate with a team in the Susan G Komen run each October and attend fundraisers for both organizations throughout the year. Cardinal Staffing also supports Wounded Warriors and The Ronald McDonald house.

Ms. Ice and other headquarters staff enjoy being in Arrowhead Park. “We use the walking trail very often and enjoy the new sidewalks for walks. Too bad NO one told the turkeys that the sidewalks are for people,” laughed Ms. Ice. “It’s soothing to be outside when the turkeys aren’t chasing you. It’s a beautiful place to work with good neighbors.”

Currently, Cardinal is looking for people to fill over 373 openings over a range of skill levels in the Toledo Metro area. Refer a friend, get free cash. Contact Christina. cice@cardinalstaffing.com