Insights & Updates 

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42 Years of Service: The Inspiring Journey of CPI, A Veteran-Owned Talent Solutions Company

Contract Professionals, Inc. (CPI) celebrated our 42nd anniversary on March 2, 2024. So we thought we’d take a look and what makes CPI so successful and such a great place to work. In this three-part series, we will explore the history, evolution and future of CPI.


The temporary talent solutions industry is fiercely competitive and fragmented, with low barriers to entry. This saturation means that practically anyone can start a staffing business, making it challenging for reputable and established firms to stand out in the crowded marketplace.

Moreover, the future growth of many talent solution companies relies on their ability to stay competitive in acquiring and retaining temporary staffing clients.

Critical to the success of any talent solutions company are the caliber and expertise of its recruiters, along with their unwavering dedication day in and day out.

So, how has a company like CPI sustained profitability and competitiveness for over 42 years? Founder Steve York would likely attribute it to his team’s commitment to getting it right the first time through meticulous training and dedication.

CPI History

Steve, a Michigan native and US Air Force Veteran, proudly served from 1968 to 1976. During his military tenure, he spent four years in Aircraft Maintenance, reaching the rank of E-5 or Staff Sergeant, and the subsequent four years as a valued member of the Michigan Medical Recruiting Team.

His passion for recruiting became the driving force behind the establishment of CPI. Initially entrenched in the defense sector, CPI’s recruiting team concentrated on sourcing contingent and direct employment opportunities for individuals within this field. However, maintaining loyalty to Detroit’s automotive heritage, CPI also flourished in serving the Big-3 automakers and their suppliers.

Under Steve’s leadership, CPI quickly outgrew its modest beginnings in West Bloomfield. To better serve clients, Steve built CPI’s corporate headquarters in Waterford, Michigan in 1990, where it stands today. Notably, in 1987, CPI earned recognition as the 35th fastest-growing privately owned company in the United States by INC. 500 and the 3rd fastest-growing privately owned company in Michigan by Michigan 100.

It’s All About The Principle 

For over 42 years, CPI has not only maintained profitability but has also proudly held a service-disabled veteran-owned certification from the National Veterans Business Development Council (NVBDC). Since its inception in 1982, CPI has remained steadfast in its mission to create employment opportunities for both civilians and veterans.

What’s more, over a third of CPI’s workforce comprises employees who have dedicated more than two decades to the company. “The cornerstone of my company is rooted in principles of professionalism and loyalty,” stated York. “I have taken great pride in embarking on this journey alongside several of my team members, spanning many years and, in some instances, decades.”

Partnering With The Best

As CPI went through a series of ups and downs, Steve always had his eye on growth and partnerships. Staying true to his instincts for working with only the best, Steve would engage and ultimately hire Jack W. Van Tiem a world class senior staffing executive, to lead CPI.

Jack W. Van Tiem took the helm as President of CPI in 2023, with a clear mission: driving sustainable business growth. Drawing on his extensive experience leading large-scale staffing & talent acquisition portfolios, international MSP operations and executive consulting/coaching, Jack brings a proven track record of success to the table.

Check back next week (Friday, March 15th) to read more about CPI’s journey and what the future holds.



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