Greater Memphis Chamber creates certification to identify staffing agencies with equitable practices

What’s happening: The Greater Memphis Chamber announced a new Gold Standard for area staffing agencies earlier this week, developing a certification process that aims to identify those staffing agencies that adhere to equitable hiring practices and fair treatment of all those that find work through such agencies. The Gold Standard Certification will be limited to just five local staffing agencies each year.

Gold Standard: The inaugural class of Gold Standard Certified staffing agencies are CTD Staffing, LLC; Prestigious Placements, Inc.; Prologistix; Staffline, LLC; and Summerfield Associates, Inc. 

How it works: Each of the five agencies passed a vetting process by an independent review board, a board that includes Al Lewis, Coalition of Concerned Citizens; Ann Terry, United Way Mid-South; Curtis Hargrett, Nike; Sarah Rainforth, Nike; Kendra Key, Greater Memphis Chamber; and Blake Payne, Greater Memphis Chamber.

According to the chamber, the vetting process requires that staffing agencies “must operate in Memphis or Shelby County for three or more years, demonstrate a commitment to ethical and professional standards, submit letters of support from an employee client and business client, and support the success of all of their employee clients.”

How it came about: The Gold Standard Certification is a result of the protests that followed the 2020 murder of George Floyd. The Greater Memphis Chamber created the From Protest to Progress initiative following the ensuing protests, conferring with Memphis activists, business leaders, and clergy to address local issues of inequity, and the Gold Standard Certification is one such result.

What they’re saying: “From Protest to Progress was historic because it was the first time businesses and activists really listened to each other,” says Greater Memphis Chamber President & CEO Beverly Robertson. “The Gold Standard Certification was created to address the real need of people in our community to know which staffing agencies will treat them fairly, equitably, and with the dignity they deserve.”