Greater Memphis Chamber awards first-ever Gold Standard Certification

Published: Jul. 11, 2022 at 6:23 PM CDT

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Greater Memphis Chamber launched a new “Gold Standard Certification” today.

The certification is a result of the 2020 “From Protest to Progress” discussions at the Chamber between business owners and activists

“You can go to these firms and be assured they are following specific protocols that are business-friendly for their employees,” said Greater Memphis Chamber President and CEO Beverly Roberton.

The Chamber solicited over 50 staffing agencies throughout the Memphis-Metro.

However, after a rigorous vetting process, using criteria such as how many years each had been in business in the city, ethical standards for placement as well as asking current employees to submit letters about each applicant--they narrowed the field down to five.

Neil Harris of Prestigious Placements, Inc said it felt great to get this certification.

“We are an incentive-based recruiting and staffing agency,” Harris said. “We don’t want anyone to work for us if we won’t work for them.”

Harris, who owns the firm with his wife Mariah said, this is a testament to his company’s transition into post-COVID-19 concerns and their mantra to improve their employees’ lives.

“You almost drive to work with a tear in each eye and that should not be the objective,” said Harris. “We want you to feel motivated when you come into a building. We don’t want you to feel like ‘woe is me.’ We want you to come in and feel think ‘finally I can get this stuff off my back. I love working here because they’re working for me.”

Dottie Summerfield Giusti with Summerfield and Associates says her recruit and staff agency has been in business for over 30 years. 

She said she hopes to see more Gold Standard Certifications as The Chamber advances the program to make more progress for Memphis workers.

“I think the Chamber has reached out in a way to blend the businesses, the employees, the workforce in a way that has never happened before,” Giusti said. “It’s reached all aspects of our community and it’s very exciting.”

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