One of the Cedar Valley’s (Iowa) largest employers is about to add hundreds more employees to its growing global footprint – up to 400 locally in the next 12 to 18 months. They’ll use a large-scale job fair to kick off the hiring process.

CBE Companies, a business process outsourcing (BPO) organization, has offices in Cedar Falls and Waterloo, Iowa; Overland Park, Kansas; and Manila, Philippines. This wave of growth will likely create the need for a third location in the Cedar Valley within the next 15 months.

The expansion stems from new client acquisitions within two of its subsidiaries, CBE Group and CBE Customers Solutions. CBE Customer Solutions was awarded a new contract with a major telecommunications provider, which starts in early 2014. In addition, CBE Group has new contracts with a number of large healthcare providers and is experiencing significant growth in the financial services, communications and education sectors.

The ongoing growth demands that nearly 200 positions be filled by the end of February.

“We are extremely excited to see the hard work from all of our employees being rewarded,” said Tom Penaluna, CEO and Chairman of the Board. “We’ve experienced steady growth over the last few years, but this equals the growth we saw back in 2004 with the U.S. Department of Education contract. In fact, we expect this growth spurt to have an even greater impact on the Cedar Valley.”

Since the 2004 expansion, the number of employees has more than doubled, and the local economic impact far exceeded the predicted $12 million.

Steve Dust, CEO of the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber, supported Penaluna’s prediction. “400 new jobs at CBE over the next couple of years will likely lead to more than 200 additional jobs being created in other businesses throughout the area,” said Dust. “We project the economic impact of this expansion to be around $18 million.”

Dust also emphasized what this expansion means for the Cedar Valley business scene. “With each step of growth, CBE proves that local firms increasing employment and investment here are strengthening the Cedar Valley as a place to grow globally competitive businesses, build a successful career, and enjoy life,” he said.

CBE has been an employment mainstay in the Cedar Valley, originally opening as the Credit Bureau of Black Hawk County in 1933. After a few name and location changes, the company moved its headquarters to the Cedar Falls Industrial Park in 2011 and became known as CBE Companies in 2013. Chad Benson, President and COO, says CBE is seeing this major growth because of the people who work there.

“We are proudly celebrating 80 years as a Cedar Valley-based company. One of our clients recently said that when he’s asked what the secret of his partnership is, he simply responds, ‘It’s Iowa!’” he said. “Over the years, we’ve made significant investments in our people, systems, process and compliance efforts which have translated into business growth from existing clients, as well as beginning new client partnerships in the healthcare, communications and financial services segments. It takes the entire village to deliver results that produce this kind of growth.”

CBE has been ranked in the top places to work in the Cedar Valley for the last eight years. In addition to “putting its people first,” the company also places high priority on giving back to the community through an initiative called CBE Cares.

“We provide many opportunities for our employees to serve and give back,” said Curt Martin, Managing Vice President, Operations. “For example, in 2013, over $65,000 will be donated to 17 charities through our Jeans for Charity program alone. CBE has also funded more than a quarter of a million dollars to a business and education partnership called Leader in Me, which helps students become future leaders.”

The current list of open positions fits a wide range of skill sets and offers a variety of benefits, according to Martin.

“We are thrilled to create 400 jobs spanning inbound and outbound call center work, management, administration and IT positions,” said Martin. “At CBE, we work hard to provide our employees with competitive wages and incentives, health benefits, 401k match, a great working environment, paid time-off and flexible hours.”

CBE is recruiting individuals for inbound and outbound representatives (full- and part-time positions), representatives bilingual in English and Spanish, front line supervisors and managers, IT, analytics, finance and other professional support positions.

Candidates interested in applying for any of the positions available are encouraged to attend the November 19 job fair at the Cedar Falls office. To search open positions and apply online, candidates can visit

“We have a unique family feel and a high-energy atmosphere that makes coming to work every day fun,” said Martin. “We are excited to expand our family and continue working with nationwide companies people know and respect.”

CBE Companies was formed in 2013 in an effort to expand in the marketplace and emerge as a BPO organization. Today, CBE Companies is the parent company of CBE Group, CBE Customer Solutions, and Argent Account Acquisitions. The mission of CBE Companies is to make its customers better through a focus on the deepest understanding of its customers’ business, innovative solutions that provide clear value in solving specific business challenges, and a unique culture and investment in employee engagement. Visit to learn more.

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