When Jimmy DeMatteis was first introduced to DMACC Business Resources (DBR), he wasn’t thinking of his own future retirement or legacy, but he was thinking of the future of his business, Des Moines Truck Brokers, and of the future for his employees. “If you are a small business looking to grow, you need to be looking at the forest, not the trees,” said DeMatteis. In this case, the forest he was looking at the afternoon he decided to reach out to DBR, was the opportunity to hire more employees and train them using funds through the Iowa Industrial New Jobs Training (260E) program.
The 260E program allows qualifying businesses to access funds that help with training and development costs for employees in new positions.
“It almost seemed too good to be true, but Kelly [Mitchell, a DBR Business Consultant] walked me through the process and explained to me how this could apply to Des Moines Truck Brokers,” said DeMatteis. The team at Des Moines Truck Brokers dug in and started their first 260E project. “The 260E program made it a lot easier as a small business to be able to commit and invest in business training and growth plans, since we had the help to pay for some of the training we needed. It gave us the opportunity to stop and strategically think about the positions we really needed to help us grow in the direction we wanted to. It gave me – and the company – confidence to grow and hire new people when we needed to without hesitation.”
Des Moines Truck Brokers completed their project and now have four times the employees they had when they started. They have been able to hire and train their employees, and put them through the Certified Transportation Broker (CTB) program – a prestigious and time-consuming process for those in the logistics field.
DeMatteis values his employees and lives by the statement, “our people will always come first.” While employees completed their CTB certification, they were encouraged to hang their certificate near the main entrance of the office. The pride and celebration that came with each employee being able to hang their certificate became infectious. Now, nearly all employees have completed the CTB program.
Des Moines Truck Brokers started to receive recognition for their investment in employees. In 2017 they earned the DMACC Small Business Award for Top Growth Company. Then came an award from the Better Business Bureau, and more. This led them to start thinking about their company culture and how to become a better employer. “It opens up doors and gets prospective employees interested as well as customers. Winners want to work for and with, other winners.”
When it came time for DeMatteis to look at another forest of opportunity – one of retirement for himself, but continued growth for his company, he reached out to Allen Lund Company, which had contacted him about working together over the years. “When I was finally ready, I reached out [to Allen Lund] and met several times with their leadership, toured their facilities, and decided that the time was right to make this change,” explained DeMatteis. “We came to an agreement about the acquisition and transition from Des Moines Truck Brokers to Allen Lund. I stressed over and over that my people have and will always come first. Thankfully, Allen Lund understands that.”
“I wanted my employees to understand that this was not an easy decision to sell the company, that they didn’t work so hard for nothing; this decision is for them too,” said DeMatteis. “Allen Lund has opened doors and opportunities that Des Moines Truck Brokers alone couldn’t have provided. This acquisition is an extension of the growth and investment we started when I first reached out to DBR.”