Getting up and going to work every week is a habit many look forward to breaking in retirement. But for George Keller, it’s a habit he’s not willing to kick anytime soon. George “retired” more than 11 years ago from Union Carbide as an engineer and is credited as one of the inventors of the oxygen concentrator back in the 1970s. Today, the 84-year-old continues to help younger generations of engineers create new inventions in West Virginia’s Chemical Valley.
George joins the more than 15 percent of older Americans who are reentering the workforce after retiring. He is now the oldest employee of the Mid-Atlantic Technology, Research and Innovation Center (MATRIC), a company aimed at bringing back and enhancing the engineering history of West Virginia. He co-founded the company, which now serves customers in six continents.
George has an office setup in his apartment home at Edgewood Summit, a senior living community in Charleston. Twice a week he takes transportation provided by the community to the MATRIC headquarters, where he meets with employees who – on average – are 60 years younger than he is. He often shares his years of experience with young engineers as well as new graduates.
George enjoys working and the active lifestyle Edgewood Summit promotes, and he doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon. In 2017, George was recognized for his efforts by being awarded the “Distinguished West Virginian Award” by Governor Jim Justice.
To read more about George’s life, view his story in The Charleston-Gazette here.
Photo by F. Brian Ferguson of The Charleston-Gazette.