By Michelle Dunlop Herald Writer
EVERETT — Job seekers who are interested in working in the aerospace industry will have the chance to talk with local employers who are hiring at a job fair May 16.
The job fair will be held at the Washington Aerospace Training and Research Center in Everett in conjunction with an open house for the training center. The event will be open to the public as well as to students enrolled at the center near Paine Field.
Although jobs have been scarce over the past few years, the aerospace industry in Washington has been on an upswing because of strong demand for commercial jets. Since the end of 2010, the Boeing Co. has added more than 9,300 positions in the state, bringing the company employment level to 82,998 at the end of April.
Boeing’s chief financial officer, Gregory Smith, recently noted that the company’s headcount had reached its peak this year. However, Boeing still will need to fill openings created by thousands of engineers and production workers who are expected to retire over the coming years.
Job seekers, as well as students at the aerospace center, need to remember that Boeing isn’t the only aerospace company in need of workers, said Raphael Madison, a marketing director for Edmonds Community College, which coordinates training at the aerospace center. Boeing, as well as commercial rival Airbus, depend on the hundreds of aerospace companies in Washington to supply airplane parts.
The training center offers short-term aerospace training programs. Through the end of April, the center had graduated more than 700 students since opening in June 2010. Roughly 77 percent of the graduates have found jobs in the industry.
Madison estimates that at least 15 companies, including Boeing, Aviation Technical Services, Giddens and NovaTech, will be on hand for the job fair. Aerospace companies from outside Snohomish County are expected to attend, as well, Madison said.
“People need to have an open mind about where the job openings are,” he said.
A few staffing companies will be represented, as will WorkSource of Snohomish County. Madison noted that people interested in attending the job fair can register on WorkSource’s website, but registration is not required.
Last September, the Center for Excellence for Aerospace and Advanced Materials Manufacturing helped organize a massive aerospace job fair in Lynnwood. That event attracted more than 3,000 people.
The job fair, at 3008 100th St. SW, Everett, will run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., May 16. For more information, go to the training center’s website: washingtonaerospace.com.