Faces of Staffing: 5 Stories of Extraordinary Employees
Like previous years, ASA is all set to announce the National Staffing Employee of the Year 2021 in the ongoing National Staffing Week. After the announcement, the awardees will officially be recognized at the Virtual Staffing World 2020 event, which is to be held on Oct. 19–22.
American Staffing Association (ASA) awards a ‘National Staffing Employee of the Year’ every year during the National Staffing Employee Week. During this week, U.S staffing agencies celebrate the contributions of more than 15 million temporary and contract employees hired each year. In addition to the top prize, four All-Stars are also announced during this week in the four sectors: engineering, information technology, and scientific; health care; industrial and office–clerical and administrative sectors.
While the announcement is eagerly anticipated, we bring you the stories of five such extraordinary employees who proved their mettle and won the National Staffing Employee award in the last few years. These employees voluntarily chose staffing employment and are since relishing their choice by striking a perfect work-life balance.
- Will Bennet – 2020 National Staffing Employee of the Year
- Violeta “Shaya” De Oleo Medina – 2019 National Staffing Employee of the Year
- Brittney Bourgeois – 2018 National Staffing Employee of the Year
- Meet Wendy Hobbie – 2017 National Staffing Employee of the Year
- Ben Keen – 2016 National Staffing Employee of the Year
1. Will Bennett – 2020 National Staffing Employee of the Year
As a member of the senior leadership team for a professional soccer team in Columbus, OH, Bennett was required to work exceedingly long hours. He connected with a staffing agency, to find a professional opportunity that would allow him more quality time with his children and then-fiancée (now wife). Bennett soon after began a contract graphic designer role where he worked fewer hours at a higher pay rate—allowing his income to remain the same.
His new role provided him with the desired time and flexibility to take a much more active role in the education of his daughter, who had been diagnosed with dyslexia. Bennett was now more available to participate in school meetings and check-ins and provide the high degree of parental involvement her specialized schooling required. While on assignment,
Bennett was promoted to a contract associate creative director position and later bridged to a permanent role with the client. Working with a staffing agency gave Bennett the desired flexibility to spend time with his family and helped launch him on the path of continued professional growth.
2. Violeta “Shaya” De Oleo Medina – 2019 National Staffing Employee of the Year
Shia works at secure transportation as a valuable customer service representative. She immigrated from the Dominican Republic to the US, with no family and financial support. Due to her lack of command on the English language, she was rejected from a lot of jobs. But she quickly turned to Netflix and taught herself basic English.
This is when she met Karla – a staffing agent. Karla says, “The biggest thing that attracted me was her personality and enthusiasm. She was just looking for an opportunity and a chance to get into the workforce here and that she would do a good job once she got there.”
Shia not only landed a good job but became one of the top performers in the organization. Her supervisor, Tiffany Robert says, “She had a lot of raving fan calls when a member actually wants to speak to a supervisor giving a compliment to a person.”
3. Brittney Bourgeois – 2018 National Staffing Employee of the Year
Bourgeois works with children as a speech-language pathologist through her staffing agency. She primarily works with children with developmental disabilities such as autism or down syndrome. She helps these children find their voice and help them communicate with the world. In a way, she plants the seeds for the communication in these children.
Her passion for her work was reflected in her words when she told, “I’m only able to teach a child their first three words, but those first three words give them such power and joy that down the line that child is able to fully express themselves”.
Being a contractual worker immensely helped during her husband’s back surgery. She was able to take due time off from work to attend her husband. This flexibility to strike a work-life balance and passion to teach children helped her earn the title of “2018 National Staffing Employee of the Year”.
4. Meet Wendy Hobbie – 2017 National Staffing Employee of the Year
Hobbie grew up in Montgomery, AL, raised by a single mother and grandmother. Her early years were difficult with weak financial backing, but she persevered. From an early age, Hobbie wanted to become a professional dancer and actress. She worked hard towards her dream and strengthened her financial condition to make the big move to the city of her dreams – New York.
After coming to New York, Hobbie wanted to work in a flexible work environment that allows her to audition and teach dance to deaf children—one of her passions. She connected with a small, woman-owned staffing company specializing in hospitality to find work.
When she first moved to New York City, she taught Sunday school to underprivileged students in low-income neighborhoods through a religious organization committed to providing services to children living in adverse conditions in metropolitan areas. Hobbie developed strong bonds with the children whose challenges mirrored some of the same ones she faced in her youth—bonds that still exist today.
“I am honored to be the National Staffing Employee of Year and hope that my personal story is inspiring to others considering work as a temporary or contract employee. Being a temporary employee is perfect for me at this time in my life. Staffing lets me support myself financially while pursuing my professional dreams and sharing my passion for dance with children, which means the world to me.” Hobbie says.
5. Ben Keen – 2016 National Staffing Employee of the Year
A veteran of the U.S. Army, Keen turned to a staffing agency for employment after transitioning from military to civilian life. After completing multiple combat deployments, including being part of the initial invasion into Iraq as a member of the Army’s historic 101st Airborne Division, he was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Keen has since found the inspiration to help others like him and founded Steel City Vets—a nonprofit organization that provides a variety of vital services to veterans.
Keen appreciates the flexibility that contract staffing provides. It allows him to serve as a nationally recognized veterans advocate, oversee his organization, and spend valuable time with his young children. Keen currently is an employee of TEKsystems on assignment in Pittsburgh as a technical operations analyst with the PNC Bank.
“It is truly humbling to have been selected as the 2016 American Staffing Association National Staffing Employee of the Year. I am honored to join the growing list of amazing previous honorees who have embraced the key staffing industry messages of ‘bridge’ and ‘flexibility.’ It is my desire that through this award other veterans see that while the transition is not always easy, hard work and dedication can pay off in some amazing ways.” Keen said.
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