Published April 20, 2010
Volume 18, Number 4

First Kelly Scientific Resources Branch Still Thriving After 15 Years 

Amy Conner, KSR’s district manager, in the company’s Hacienda

By Nicole Zaro Stahl

The Hacienda office of Kelly Scientific Resources (KSR) has a special distinction as the first of its kind. When it was launched back in 1995 by Kelly Services, Inc., the Detroit-based workforce solutions leader, the new division was out in front of the power curve.

“When we started out,” recalls Amy Conner, the Pleasanton KSR District Manager, “people didn’t necessarily put contract work and scientists together. There has definitely been a shift in thinking as businesses have come to appreciate the great quality of scientists who want to work on a contract basis. Many contractors value the flexibility of their positions, while others hope to supplement retirement income or begin their careers in a contract setting.”

Conner was originally hired to open the division’s first office—a sure sign of Kelly’s determination to enter the new market from a position of strength, as befits a company with such a steady pattern of growth and stability since its founding in 1946.

The guiding principle was the notion that like attracts like. “At Kelly, we hire folks who are subject matter experts,” explains Conner. “Our branches are staffed and managed by seasoned, degreed scientists and clinical professionals. More than 80 percent of our staff have science degrees, and more than 20 percent have multiple or advanced degrees. This benefits our clients because our employees can discuss the work to be done and understand the skill sets that are needed.”
Conner herself has just the right credentials. She graduated from college with a B.S. in biology and went to work for a veterinary hospital in Oakland. Then she became a clinical microbiologist. After a few years, she decided to explore the business side of science. Moving into the scientific staffing industry, she spent eight years with a Bay Area start-up before being recruited to help launch KSR.

Over the years she has seen KSR blossom into an organization that sends approximately 4,500 scientists to work every day from more than 110 company-owned and operated offices throughout the world. The division serves a broad spectrum of industries, including biotechnology, chemical, consumer products, cosmetics, environmental, food sciences, medical/clinical, pharmaceutical, and petrochemical. Kelly Scientific Resources’ strong relationships extend to affiliations with numerous industry associations and societies, and in 2000 the company established a Future Scientist Program.

Conner derives special satisfaction from being able to support the scientific community, especially while working with young professionals. “We try to help them further their careers and steer them to positions that are a good fit,” she notes, adding, “This is really a fun job. People who work here love what they do. It feels good when you get that match for the client and employee. It’s very exciting to be part of something that has grown with such success.”

Last month, the division moved from its office on Rosewood Drive into the larger quarters of Kelly Services on Stoneridge Drive. “We often interface with other Kelly specialties, so the best model is for all employees to be under one roof,” Conner says. For more information, visit www.kellyscientific.com.


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