Gene Guilkey’s story is a study in grit and determination.
It’s also a study in how reinventing yourself can lead to new and exciting life chapters—and how Gene’s relationship with Kelly® made this possible.
A senior airman in the U.S. Air Force during the 1980s, Gene did what most parents would do: he put his family ahead of himself, and resumed his education only after he had put his children through college. Earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Strayer University in June of 2013, Gene discovered the act of finding a job much more difficult than he’d expected. “If you’ve been out of work and you’re over 50, it’s hard to find a job,” Gene said.
"ANYBODY CAN WORK FOR A WAGE, BUT KELLY PUT ME IN A POSITION TO GET A JOB THAT NOT ONLY DO I LOVE, BUT THAT I ALSO ENJOY. A YEAR LATER, MY DAYS STILL FLY BY BECAUSE I LOVE WHAT I DO. NOT ONLY DID KELLY CHANGE MY EMPLOYMENT STATUS, THEY CHANGED MY MINDSET."
After learning about Kelly through an advertisement on LinkedIn®, Gene connected with Jennifer: an engineering recruiter for Kelly. His life hasn’t been the same since. “Jennifer was a bulldog!” Gene exclaimed. “She is tenacious. She looked at my résumé, at my experience and education, and focused her efforts on getting me a job. And she succeeded.”
Listen to Gene's story in his own words.
In March of 2014, Gene was given a temporary assignment as a production supervisor for Nitto Denko®, a Japanese-owned company that manufactures sound-deadening equipment for Toyota®, Nissan®, and Hyundai®. Within two short months, the company decided to hire Gene directly from Kelly, and he was promoted to production manager.
The impact on his life was immeasurable. “It made all the difference in the world,” he said. “A year later, and my days still fly by because I love what I do. Not only did Kelly change my employment status, they changed my mind.”
Today, Gene is looking ahead to furthering his career with Nitto Denko and is making plans to return to school to receive his master’s degree. “I think other great opportunities are definitely not out of view,” Gene said. “Ten years ago, I’d never have said that. Long term, I think my future is very bright.”
We think so, too.