California-based firm SearchPros Staffing has entered into a long-term contract with Lockheed Martin Corp. to manage temporary staffing services for the aerospace giant.

SearchPros director Myla Ramos was reluctant to discuss details of the deal Friday, citing confidentiality agreements, but said the Citrus Heights firm will streamline a variety of services for Lockheed Martin.

SearchPros also will act as an intermediary between Lockheed and staffing agencies. Ramos likens her firm to an aggregate site for employers, allowing them to go to a "one-stop" location for temporary staffing needs.

"We're streamlining the way they use staffing agencies. We're ensuring everything from billing to employment to risk mitigation. We're streamlining the processes to comply with Lockheed Martin policies," Ramos said.

Lockheed Martin officials did not immediately return telephone calls Friday from McClatchy reporters requesting comment.

The five-year deal with Lockheed includes an option to extend it to 10 years at the end of the contract's fifth year, Ramos said.

SearchPros' contract began in January at Lockheed's Sunnyvale facility, but the journey to cinch the deal stretches back to January 2009.

The growing Citrus Heights firm entered its bid that month, then survived a highly competitive battle for the prized deal, winning the contract last summer. "It was extremely competitive. (The contract) is nationwide coverage. In today's economy, how many people are going to want to bid for that?" Ramos said.

Reports put the contract at $250 million -- the amount of money that would be paid out in wages to employees -- but Ramos would not confirm the amount Friday, nor would she say how much her company stands to earn from the long-term contract.

But to gear up for the contract "we're in a significant growth phase, and we're hiring actively nationwide," she said. "We have to expand to meet the needs of the contract."

The deal with Bethesda-based Lockheed is a coup for a local firm that just five years ago got its start in a rented K Street office suite. "We had three card tables and a bunch of Yellow Pages," Ramos said of SearchPros' beginning. "We're still surviving in this economy, and we're excited that we've found a niche."

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