Mindful Staffing Solutions LLC, a Milwaukee-based staffing and training firm led by entrepreneur Reginald Reed Jr., will soon move into its new digs in the Park Place office park on the city's far northwest side.
Mindful Staffing signed a lease earlier this fall for the roughly 32,300-square-foot space at 11700 W. Lake Park Drive, and will move there in December. The first classes out of the new space will begin Jan. 4, Reed said.
The updated space will accommodate the company's anticipated growth. Reed said just under 10 employees will be working from there to start with. Another 30 employees should be added by March. Overall, the company anticipates creating around 100 jobs in 2021, and up to 400 jobs over three years, he said.
Founded in 2016, Mindful Staffing aims to provide job training and opportunities for those in underserved communities in the Milwaukee area.
The company has two main components, Reed said. It is a staffing agency that also holds pre-apprenticeship training courses. Trainees are hired directly by Mindful Staffing, and work in their respective fields on a temporary or seasonal basis. The goal is to connect people to full-time jobs in their field.
"Essentially we are building a tech school inside a staffing agency," Reed said. "We use different organizations and pools of funding, including our own sometimes through minimal tuitions, to recruit individuals from underserved communities. Then we get them training and supportive services at no cost to them."
Classes range from four to 10 weeks.
Mindful Staffing has a training program in construction and will potentially soon add one for the medical field, Reed said. The company intends to add training courses every year, in fields such as culinary and welding.
Mindful Staffing also has what it calls a real-time resume, a time and attendance platform that collects information on performance-specific tasks. This data, such as attendance, performance ratings and hours of exposure in specific tasks or categories, is presented to employers.
"This way an employer gets to choose a person based on what they bring to the table, and then we're able to actually gauge pay rate and bill out rate in the same data," he said.
The company started in 2016. It was experiencing significant growth until 2019, when it ran into technical issues with the building it was formerly leasing that forced it to cease operations for a year, Reed said.
Mindful Staffing's new offices have been equipped with new technology, including fiber, access controls and interactive whiteboards, he said. The space is also undergoing some minor cosmetic upgrades, such as new wallpaper and flooring. Milwaukee-based JCP Construction LLC is the contractor performing the work, Reed said.
The landlord is Elm Grove-based Luther Group LLC. An affiliate of Luther Group acquired the property from an affiliate of Milwaukee-based Irgens Partners LLC in January for $225,000, according to state records.
Jason Luther, president and manager of Luther Group, said his firm bought the building primarily because of the price tag.
"We bought the building at an attractive number, we didn’t really have any true plans for it," he said, noting it is nearby two other flex industrial buildings the firm owns in Park Place.
Luther said the Mindful Staffing lease could create some momentum in Park Place, which is struggling with vacancies. Even so, the office park has gotten some attention from investors recently, including some from out of the state.
In early 2019, Portland-based Felton Properties Inc. acquired three Park Place buildings as part of a six-building, 392,000-square-foot office portfolio deal. The three buildings are located at 7800 N. 113th St., 11100 W. Liberty Drive and 11301 W. Lake Park Drive.
A New York-based investment firm acquired two buildings earlier this year, including the One Park Plaza building at 11200-11270 W. Park Place and the Liberty 1 building at 11414 W. Park Place. As of March, the Liberty 1 building was only 27% occupied.
More recently, local investor WI Park Investment LLC bought five Park Place buildings as part of a six-building office portfolio, with the other property located in Oak Creek. The buildings were purchased for a combined $3.6 million, according to state records. They total 245,000 square feet in all and are only 17.5% leased to six tenants, according to a news release from Colliers International | Wisconsin, which represented the sellers in the transaction.