In 1982, the price of a gallon of gas was $1.22. The unemployment rate was at 9.7%. The average cost of a new house was $82,200. Time Magazine named the Man of the Year as the computer. The first ever CD player was sold in Japan. Emoticons were created at Carnegie Mellon University. Michael Jackson released his Thriller album. Sea Biscuit won the triple crown. Robert Jarvik was the recipient of the first permanent artificial heart implant. Prince William was born. Both Fast Times at Ridgemont High and ET came out. The most popular song of the year was Olivia Newton John’s “Physical.” The break up of the AT&T monopoly was ordered. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. was dedicated.
And Steve York and his wife launched Contract Professional’s, Inc. (CPI).
It was March 2, 1982 and Steve York, a military veteran, along with his wife and partners embarked on what turned out to be a life long journey to help both civilians and military veterans find gainful and fulfilling employment on an international scale.
What started in the York’s West Bloomfield living room, quickly morphed into a company serving multi-national corporation(s) with the goal of recruiting and dispatching employees to locations as far as Afghanistan and Morocco, etc.
A Michigan native and a US Air Force Veteran, serving from 1968-1976, Steve served his first four years in Aircraft Maintenance achieving the rank of E-5 or Staff Sergeant and the last four years, as a member of the Michigan Medical Recruiting Team. It was his recruiting, training and experience that led Steve to a career in the technical staffing industry.
CPI began with a focus on Department of Defense clients and the vision turned to rapid growth and development. CPI expanded and moved offices several times in the early years, finally building a corporate headquarters in Waterford, Michigan in 1990.
CPI has operated branch offices in several major cities throughout the years. Today, CPI provides services to clients in the western half of United States from their Arizona Branch and from the eastern half of the United States from their Michigan Branch. In addition, CPI operates satellite offices in Green Bay, Wisconsin and Killeen, Texas.
In 1987, CPI was named 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.
In recent years, CPI has been honored to receive multiple awards including:
- 101 Best and Brightest Places to Work For 2015 & 2016
- 101 Best and Brightest Places to Work For, Elite Award 2015 & 2016
- 101 Best and Brightest Places to Work For, National Award 2015 & 2016
- Crain’s Detroit Cool Places to Work 2016
- Veteran Owned Business of the Year, SBA Michigan, 2016
- MichBusiness CEO of CEO’s Award 2016
- MSED Platinum Award for Sales & Marketing 2016
CPI was officially certified by The Department of Veterans Affairs (VOSB) as veteran owned in July 2015. CPI received an additional veteran owned certification from the National Veteran Business Development Council (NVBDC) in that same year. These certifications were instrumental in validating CPI’s position as a leader in the out-processing military personnel and veteran recruitment space.
Today, under the leadership of Jim Cowper, President, CPI, the company enjoys continuous growth in various sectors including defense, automotive, information technology and telecommunications. Steve York is still very active in the day to day operations of CPI, acting as CEO and Chairman of the Board.
The Small Business Administration reports that more than more than 50% of businesses fail during the first year in business. Steve York not only beat those odds but he and his team have remained profitable for more than 35 consecutive years. That’s quite an accomplishment to say the least.
The people that know Steve York aren’t surprised by his success. His mantra: “Do it right the first time,” is something that all of his employees work hard to achieve everyday. “Steve is not only an exceptional leader, he is also an extraordinary human being,” said Jim Cowper. “We are all very proud to be a part of the CPI movement.”
Here’s to another 35 years!