Workspace: Keith Fairchild leaves traveling the world behind, starts new business in Jacksonville
After traveling all over the world while growing up and during his first two professional careers, Keith Fairchild decided in 1988 to move his family to Jacksonville and open TRC Staffing Services.
After growing up in Cuba and the Bahamas, Fairchild trained as an aviation electronics technician. It was a way, Fairchild believed, to work and travel around the world.
Initially, Fairchild repaired systems on corporate jets. After a few years, he realized that wasn’t going to be his long-term avocation, so he switched to medical electronics and worked for a firm based in Europe.
He worked his way up through the ranks to vice president and general manager of U.S. operations, which meant he spent 12 weeks at home and 12 weeks traveling all over the world.
Fairchild and his wife had started a family by then and he decided he wanted to be home for dinner every night.
He resigned and took two years off to explore business opportunities. At the end of his hiatus, “I had a long list of what I didn’t want to do,” Fairchild said.
The self-evaluation led to the conclusion that the most important part of his former job was hiring the right people to work for the company. That realization led to Fairchild purchasing a TRC Staffing Services franchise.
Based on visits to the area during the ’80s, Fairchild said it took an important reason to make the decision to base his new venture in Northeast Florida.
“I knew Jacksonville for paper mills and toll booths,” he said. “But my family lives here and I wanted my kids to grow up knowing their grandparents and aunts and cousins.”
That was in 1988 and Fairchild has owned and operated his business here since.
He calls what he does “institutional voyeurism” because it allows him to take a look at a business and its needs in order to recruit the right candidates for a job opening.
“I get to know the client and their business. It’s a crash course in their industry. That is fascinating to me,” Fairchild said.
When the right candidate is placed into the right job, it’s a true example of “win-win.”
“It’s very rewarding to place someone in a job and it’s a good fit. It’s fun to make everybody happy,” he said.