Aviation companies were overwhelmed by the number of attendees at a recent jobs fair in Everett, Washington, where more than 300 eager job seekers lined up with resumes in hand to try and snag a job with leading aerospace companies, the Everett Herald reports.
According to the news source, the line started forming at 7 a.m., hours before the doors opened at 10 a.m. By 10:30, the parking lot was packed and the line was out the door and down the street. Although a number of aerospace and aviation companies were present, Boeing's booth had by far the largest crowd.
By 11 a.m., the line that stretched out before one Boeing representative had grown 100-strong.
"You can see that a lot of people are here to talk to Boeing," said Larry Cluphf, director of the Washington Aerospace Training and Research Center, where the fair was held. "But we're encouraging them to talk to these other companies as well."
AvtechTyee, another company represented at the event, said that it was having difficulty finding workers who were qualified enough for the company's open positions. Stan Hiraoka, a human resources worker for the company, said it was searching for a lathe operator who had been in the field for at least five years, but most candidates had only recently graduated from an aerospace training program.
The pickup in aviation staffing comes as jobs growth continues in most industries across the country. According to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment increased by 115,000 in April, while the unemployment rate dipped to 8.1 percent from the previous month's reading of 8.2 percent.
Industries that saw the largest pickup in hiring included professional and business services, retail trade and healthcare. Manufacturing jobs, which includes those for the aerospace industry, continued their upward trend, adding another 16,000 last month. The largest growth was seen in fabricated metals products and machinery, which added 6,000 and 5,000 jobs, respectively.