TEMPO Employment Services celebrates 35 years of helping County job seekers

4 years ago

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — When Lois Dickson returned to Aroostook County after spending 20 years in Memphis, Tennessee, she soon found that the perfect career for her involved helping people find the ideal job for their interests and skillsets.


Dickson, who is from Fort Fairfield and Presque Isle, began her career at TEMPO Employment Services in Presque Isle in 1992, soon after she moved home. Three years later she purchased the company after the three business partners who previously owned the company — Al Condon, John Cancelarich and Jerry Donovan — decided to pursue other business ventures.

This year TEMPO is celebrating 35 years of operation, while Dickson will mark her 25th year as the owner. She recalled recently that not long after she joined the company the Loring Air Force Base in Limestone closed, creating a dire situation for the laid-off workers.

“Back then there were more people looking for jobs than there were jobs available,” Dickson said. “Today there are more jobs available than there are people to fill those positions.”

Dickson and her staff estimate that since TEMPO’s inception in 1985, the company has helped 15,000 people find work in temporary, part-time or full-time positions with the average number of successful placements being around 300 per year. They place job seekers primarily in clerical, industrial and manufacturing positions.

Though TEMPO is best known for helping people apply for temporary job positions, she said that a vast majority of the people they place end up being hired at the same company in permanent full-time positions. Many folks have moved up the ladders of their companies to become managers and supervisors.

Often, those people will stop by the TEMPO office on 40 North Street to say “thank you” to the staff for helping them create a better future for themselves.

“Recently, someone who we worked with 22 years ago to find work came in to thank us for getting him into a job that he loves. He is full time, has benefits and will be able to retire in six years,” Dickson said.

TEMPO staff members credit the company’s longevity with being entirely local, offering their services for free and focusing on helping both job seekers and employers grow their opportunities. They have become part of organizations such as the Central Aroostook Chamber of Commerce and Aroostook Partnership and have built a client base of over 50 local businesses who often turn to them to find qualified workers.

Jennifer Buckingham has been the manager of TEMPO for 23 years. She said that the most rewarding memories from her time with the company have involved building relationships with local job seekers.

“We’ve always been an Aroostook company and we really care about the people we work with,” Buckingham said.