One afternoon a gentleman arrived in our office, which was at that time conveniently located in a mall attached to a well-known family farm stand. While touring the farm over the weekend, he noticed UNITEMP’s office. That Monday he returned to the mall to speak with the manager. This gentleman represented one of two firms that were vying for the opportunity to provide EZ-Pass equipment to the state of NJ and was interested in securing drivers on a temporary basis to test the equipment prior to the state inspection. He indicated he would need approximately ten drivers for duration of about three weeks.
While drivers were not a position UNITEMP regularly provided, the manager spoke with the president of the company and an immediate meeting was set up.
UNITEMP agreed to accept the challenge and got to work. One of the challenges was the recruitment of the drivers. When describing the position prospective employees, we attempted to share the value of their service to this project; the equipment in question would be installed statewide and possibly even nationally. Their role in the project was crucial to its success and the positive impact EZ-Pass would have on easing traffic on New Jersey’s main highways; the Palisades Parkway, Garden State Parkway and the Thruway. However we phrased it, to a one, they recognized that their role would be to drive in circles for eight hours a day – they were right. The project was taking place on the Garden State Parkway where the left lanes of both north- and southbound were closed with two turnarounds provided over the median. With good humor we were able to find the required ten drivers.
Subsequently, the competitor of the Canadian company contacted us for the same needs, to test their equipment prior to the state; again we were able to secure the required drivers for the duration needed.
It was then time for the State of New Jersey’s test, this coordinated by a national traffic engineering company. At the suggestion of both competitors, UNITEMP was again approached to provide drivers for the official test. This project was much larger in scope – 25 drivers around the clock for six months. Built into this project was the requirement that UNITEMP guarantee a minimum of 22 drivers. For this guarantee the state was willing to have three additional drivers to provide relief during the shifts and as buffers. If, however, fewer than 22 drivers arrived for work, UNITEMP would be penalized at the rate of one of their engineers who would have to step in assist. This provided great incentive to meet the customer’s needs!
By the completion of the project, UNITEMP’s employees had logged over 15,000 hours in equipment testing time. Based on the information gathered during the test, the state chose an equipment manufacturer and New Jersey became the first state in the nation to install the EZ-Pass system for toll collection.