Labor Solutions Wants to Grow to Help More Polk County Employees and Employers
Learn more about another great staffing company in Polk as we recognize National Staffing Week.
At 25 years old, Labor Solutions has no intent on resting on its laurels. Instead, it plans to continue to grow to help even more people in the community.
“It’s always on our minds and definitely in the books,” said Labor Solutions Vice President Mirca Mercado, who has worked there since 2002.
The company Baxter Troutman founded to connect employers with employees is one to be celebrated during the 2023 National Staffing Employee Week from Sept. 11 through Sept. 17.
The former four-term state representative founded Labor Solutions in 1997 when a jail was being built in Frostproof and labor was hard to find, Mercado said. “He got involved in the community because he wanted to be part of the solution.”
So, he started the staffing company to help the construction company find temporary workers.
Labor Solutions believes in its company slogan: Bringing people together. “That’s what we do,” Mercado said. “We bring clients together with employees. We match needs. We are a matchmaker.”
The company’s main office is in Winter Haven; it has four other locations, one each in Bartow, Lake Wales, Arcadia and Plant City. Internally, it has 14 employees. It focuses on five main areas:
- Light industrial
Mercado, who just celebrated 21 years with the company, said she works there because she enjoys what she does. “I love helping people. It’s the satisfaction I get when we place an individual out to work and they come back to us with family members and they let us know what a difference we’ve made in their lives. That makes it all worthwhile. I think it’s the same for the other people we work with. It definitely has made the company successful all these years.”
Companies as Clients
“We take on all the HR stress for our clients,” Mercado said. “All they have to do is pick up the phone or email us, whether it’s to hire or fire someone. They don’t have to do the physical work themselves. The stress of finding and screening people; paperwork; compliance – we do everything it takes to hire a new employee.”
That saves employers time, she said. The company also can handle unemployment claims, workers’ compensation issues and more. “We take it all away. We deal with it ourselves.”
The company takes calls 24/7.
Employees Get Help
Employees who use a staffing agency like Labor Solutions have many more options than those who apply at one or two places.
“We have options,” Mercado said. “If you go to a hospital, you’re mainly going to find medical jobs. We sit with you, and we get to know you, the individual. We find out what it is you need from us. We match you with the best employer. If you’re a welder, we find a welding job. If you’re a receptionist, we match you with what best suits your needs, whether it’s in a medical office, warehouse or attorney’s office. We’re not limited to one field.”
It also will help people who are qualified for a position but don’t have a resume write one.
Company officials recruit all the time, Mercado said. “We’ve been around for so long and we’ve helped a lot of employees, so a lot of our recruitment is through word of mouth. They talk to others about us.”
It’s also involved in the community, setting up a table and talking at every function and event they go to, she said. “We do it on a yearly basis for the breast cancer walk – we get involved and we start recruiting. We take advantage of the events we attend.”
The labor shortage that has been crippling the country for the past few years is not getting any better, Mercado said. “It is still a problem. We stay actively recruiting and it is so hard to find people. Once you find them, another problem coming across is money – people are demanding lots of money. There is so much competition. People will say, ‘I could go to McDonald’s and make that, and once my shift is over, I can go home and not sweat over work.’ ”
Another problem: finding people without criminal histories. “There are clients who require clean backgrounds. It’s ‘Mission: Impossible’ for us. We have to go searching for those individuals.”
The agency will be recruiting at career fairs and other events in the coming weeks. “We’re trying to stay busy,” Mercado said. All that as it pays tribute to the contributions temporary and contractor employees make during National Staffing Employee Week.
National Staffing Week
September 11-17 is National Staffing Employee Week. “National Staffing Employee Week is a time for the staffing, recruiting, and talent solutions industry to celebrate the millions of outstanding temporary and contract employees who—every day—contribute to American productivity and the overall economic well-being of our economy,” Richard Wahlquist, chief executive officer at American Staffing Association, said in the Rita Staffing press release.
In 2022, “U.S. staffing and recruiting companies hired 14.6 million temporary and contract employees in nearly every industry in the labor market,” it said.