Two of the founders of staffing giant Labor Ready Inc., of Tacoma, have started a new temporary-staffing company, Command Center Inc., and have bought property in Post Falls for the concerns headquarters.
The two men, John Coghlan and Glenn Welstad, say they hope to grow Command Center into a nationwide staffing concern.
Coghlan most recently was president of Temporary Financial Services Inc., of Spokane Valley, and Welstad was president and CEO of Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Command Staffing LLC. Command Center was formed in early November through a reverse merger between Coghlans publicly-traded financial services company and Command Center, a privately-owned long-term staffing concern.
It gives my little public company a chance for growth, says Coghlan, who now is one of Command Centers directors.
Through a reverse merger, a private company can become a publicly-traded company without the expense and time involved in conducting an initial public offering. Usually, a publicly traded but dormant company, called a shell company, issues enough stock to a private company so that the private company owns most of the total shares outstanding.
This transfers ownership of the shell company to the private company, effectively making the private company publicly traded. Often, the private company renames itself with the public companys name.
In November, Command Center bought a 16,000-square-foot office building and more than 2 acres of land at 3773 W. Fifth, in Post Falls, at a cost of about $1.1 million from Willy Tall LLC, Coghlan says. Coghlan and Welstad say they are moving some operations there from Command Staffings main office in Scottsdale and Temporary Financial Services 1,200-square-foot office space at 200 N. Mullan, in Spokane Valley, and plan to hire up to 20 people for the companys Post Falls office.
Idaho is business friendly, and were looking forward to moving out to Post Falls, Welstad says.
Command Center reached an agreement earlier to acquire the assets of up to 70 Command Staffing franchisee-owned temporary staffing stores nationwide, Coghlan says.
He says it expects to complete that transaction by late February, after which Command Center plans to focus on adding more locations.
Temporary Financial Services gross revenues in 2004 were $214,000, and Coghlan declines to disclose Command Centers anticipated revenues next year. Welstad, who now is Command Centers CEO, declines to disclose Command Staffings revenues prior to the merger.
Command Center probably will use about half of the space in its new Post Falls building and will lease out the rest, Coghlan says. It plans to open its headquarters there by mid-January.
Coghlan started Temporary Financial Services in 2002 to do accounts-receivable financing for temporary-labor businesses.
In 2004, the company liquidated its assets and laid off its employees as it prepared for a reverse merger planned for earlier this year with Toolbuilders Inc., of Spokane Valley, but that deal fell through, Coghlan says. He declines to disclose further details about the failed merger.
Welstad started Command Staffing in 2003. It currently has 12 employees, and a few of them will move to the Post Falls office, Welstad says.
Franchisees own the 70 Command Staffing offices in 19 states and Washington, D.C., including 10 offices in Washington and North Idaho, he says. If the acquisition of those offices is successful, the company will have between 200 and 350 employees, or up to five people at each location.
Command Center hasnt decided whether it will sell franchises, Welstad says. For now, all of the offices will be company owned and will operate under the Command Center name.
Our goal is to be a national player, he says. The market is big enough to support another player.
Also absorbed into Command Center through the reverse merger were the assets of Harborview Software Inc., a Scottsdale, Ariz.-based affiliate of Command Staffing that provides software systems used in the operation of staffing offices, Welstad says.
Coghlan and Welstad met in 1977 when Coghlan did accounting work for Welstad, who worked in the restaurant business. In 1989, they helped found Labor Ready, in Kent, Wash., Coghlan says.
Labor Ready specializes in day-labor temporary staffing, finding jobs for about 600,000 people a year through its more than 880 branches internationally, its Web site says.
The company grew, ranking among the nations fastest-growing concerns in the 1990s.
In 2004, its revenues totaled $36.3 million, and it had nearly 3,000 employees.
Coghlan and Welstad say they left the company after it went public, which occurred in the 1990s. They say their new venture will serve the long-term staffing market.
The Puget Sound Business Journal reported in 2004 that Welstad and Labor Ready had settled a lawsuit between them.
Welstad declined to comment on his legal dispute with Labor Ready, saying it had been settled.
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