The first task of the association’s inaugural board of directors was to send a representative to Washington to meet with officials from the Department of Labor. The mission was to establish the Institute of Temporary Services as the official representative of the temporary help industry, and to make recommendations concerning regulations set by U.S. Employment Services, an agency that then caused temporary help companies some consternation, because it was often seen as infringing on the industry.
The Institute of Temporary Services became the National Association of Temporary Services in 1970; then changed its name again to the National Association of Temporary and Staffing Services in 1994, to accommodate its expansion beyond temporary help; and in 1999, became the American Staffing Association to better reflect the full range of staffing and human resource services offered by its member companies.
Soon after its founding, the association began holding an annual convention, and in the early 1980s, began publishing a magazine and newsletter for members—activities that have evolved in scale and sophistication over the years and continue today. In 2003, ASA introduced the first of its four certification programs, which have become the industry’s leading professional credentials.