Tuesday, May 21, 2024


The story of this progressive corporation began a few years after the end of the Second World War. At the time, the Philadelphia-based company followed the American dream and entered the market with the ambitious goal of reshaping the course of business processes in the United States of America. Following that, CDI created a number of programs that aided the process of employing people in industrial enterprises. Read more about the company’s fascinating history, including how its journey began, its unique features, the establishment of the corporation and its modern-day operations, at philadelphia-future.

The beginning of the company’s history

The second part of the twentieth century saw rapid growth in the technical services sector. At that time, people realized what a powerful blow the war had caused to the worldwide economy, so it was time to return to levels prior to the war. The United States, whose economic infrastructure was less damaged than in European countries, then became a progressive center. In particular, in the City of Brotherly Love, companies specializing in the manufacturing of products from design to assembly line began operating as soon as possible. In 1950, one of them was CDI Corporation, which was also known as Comprehensive Designers, Inc.

The Philadelphia-based corporation began its operations with outsourcing. Actually, CDI distinguishes itself in that it was among the first to implement projects in this field, even before outsourcing became a thing in the first place. However, back then, this was rather a disadvantage. Simply because it required a great deal of work to become a provider of wholly new services in order to receive income considering significant investments.

Formation of CDI Corporation

Interestingly enough, the company’s expansion was aided by two greatest challenges of the second half of the twentieth century: the Cold War and the US Army’s involvement in Vietnam. During that time, CDI director Walter Garrison recognized that since World War II the US government had been investing enormous sums in the defense industry. However, the procedure was not ideal and needed to be improved in the technical workforce aspect. During Harrison’s tenure at the firm, it expanded across the country, rapidly developing the industrial field. In 1967, the corporation ranked first on Barron’s list with a profit of forty million dollars, eighty percent of which was attributed to defense funding.

Since the company provided temporary services, its income fluctuated dramatically according to the contracts that were signed. However, this did not affect CDI much because the majority of the company’s expenses were related to the workforce, which could be laid off and re-hired with complete flexibility and without unnecessary resentment. Workers in the Philadelphia company could earn more money than they would have under other circumstances, though with fewer benefits and no certainty of future employment.

CDI’s competitors expected the company to fail once the Vietnam War ended, but that did not happen. Obviously, the focus on the defense industry has declined significantly, but the Philadelphia company’s position at the top has been secured by experience and funding from previous contracts. 

In 1971, defense customers accounted for only 33% of revenues, with the remainder supplied by well-known organizations such as Coca-Cola, Philip Morris, Mellon National Bank, Shell Oil, Magnavox and approximately 145 other manufacturing enterprises in the United States. In the future, the company actively studied changes in the market, adapted to economic crises and new problems and retained its position as the primary HR department for the technology industry.

Modern period

Today, Comprehensive Designers, Inc. has operating offices in over thirty-five countries throughout the world. Its staff includes at least 7,500 specialists from the United States and other countries. In 2016, CDI’s annual revenue was about one billion dollars.

In recent years, the corporation has focused on engineering. They have garnered numerous awards and honors for their professionalism in this industry. For example, the 18th place in the award for flawless engineering design, among others.

The Philadelphia corporation is divided into four business segments: permanent placement, temporary staffing, professional services and project management. These divisions provide HR solutions for a variety of industries, including automotive, aviation, petrochemical and other economic sectors, offering a range of qualified temporary workers. 

The CDI corporation has two main subsidiaries: Today’s Staffing agency and Management Recruiters International, Inc.  These businesses, in particular, assist the Philadelphia project in reaching new heights year after year, surpassing such powerful opponents as Adecco Group, COMFORCE Corporation, MPS Group, Inc. and others.

Today, Comprehensive Designers, Inc. attempts to provide its customers with non-standard solutions based on the high level of skills and professional expertise of its workers. As a result of this approach to business, in 2017, the company from the City of Brotherly Love ranked twenty-first among the largest American employment organizations.

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