LAURINBURG — Jerry and Allison Norton, owners of Associate Staffing L.L.C., started the business with the hope that if they could commit to meet each and every challenge, they’d reap what they’d sown — six years later, their company ranked as one of the top 10 fastest-growing staffing and talent engagement firms in the country.
Of nearly 78,000 staffing companies in the U.S., 97 were qualified to make the cut. To qualify, a company must earn more than $1 million annually and have recorded compound annual revenue growth of at least 15 percent between 2009 and 2013. Associate Staffing ranked No. 8 of 10 by the Staffing Industry Analysts for earning $11.3 million in revenue last year. The company’s compound annual growth rate was 52.4 percent over the last five years.
This year, the company has earned an estimated $15 million in revenue.
InGenesis was ranked first, earning over $111.7 million in revenue with a compound annual growth rate of 132.7 percent.
The Nortons married in 1976 and were forced to move — with their two sons, John and Michael — well over a dozen times in a 30-year span due to the demands of Jerry’s jobs in operations for several different manufacturing companies. Throughout the years Allison worked as an aerobics instructor, receptionist and ran offices for several different regional and national logistics firms. Eventually the couple decided to combine their experiences in management, manufacturing and operations to start their own business.
Associate Staffing conducts business with 28 companies between their Laurinburg and their second location in Charlotte, which opened three years ago. The Laurinburg office has helped employ more than 346 people locally.
Although neither Norton were college graduates, Jerry said the success of their business and accomplishing what they had so far has been an exciting feat for them both.
“Our motivation is for finding people that need work and putting those people to work,” he said. “It’s just a joy being able to see people improve their financial situations.”
Their youngest son, Michael Norton, 30, who joined the family business a few years ago, is now director of the professional services division at Associate Staffing’s new location in Charlotte. Three years ago, after the firm partnered with some of Scotland, Richmond and Moore counties’ largest customers, the Nortons decided it was time to expand their business. About two months ago John, 31, finally “took a leap of faith.”
“We have been blessed as a family,” Allison said in a statement, “and our paths have been directed so the values that not only help a family be healthy and successful, but also a company, that was forged through our experiences together throughout the last 30 years … .”
The business has also been certified by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, Disadvantaged Business Enterprise and Historically Underutilized Business.
The Nortons hope to take the family business one step at a time by maintaining the new building in Charlotte and possibly doubling the office space over the next few years.
Rachel McAuley can be reached at 910-506-3171. Follow her on Twitter @rachelmcauley1.