Boeing hiring 100 a week; here’s how to join the ranks

  • By Michelle Dunlop Herald Writer
  • Tuesday, March 22, 2011 3:47pm
  • Business

Few companies in Washington can boast that they’re hiring 100 people every week in this economy.

But the Boeing Co. has been doing it for the past several months.

“With the rate increases that we’ve got planned, it’s going to be pretty steady,” said Tim Healy, a Boeing spokesman.

To keep up with increasing demand for aircraft, Boeing plans to boost production rates across its plane programs in the Puget Sound region. Boeing and other aerospace companies have added 2,500 jobs in Snohomish County alone during the past year, according to the state Employment Security Department.

One sure way to get a leg up on the hiring process at Boeing is to complete an 11-week certificate program at the Washington Aerospace Training and Research Center in Everett.

“If someone goes into that program and passes it, they automatically get an interview at Boeing,” Healy said.

The training center, located at Paine Field, especially caters to people who don’t have a manufacturing background. It offers two certificate programs: aerospace manufacturing and aerospace assembly mechanic.

Since opening last June, the training center has graduated 140 students. About half of those graduates already have jobs, said Larry Cluphf, director of the center. Of the students who haven’t been hired, most are recent graduates who haven’t had much time to find employment. About a third of the graduates who haven’t found jobs have solid interviews lined up, Cluphf said.

“If you want a job in aerospace, this is the way in the door,” Cluphf said.

Boeing is one of five companies that have hired graduates of the training center, though other aerospace companies also are recruiting there, he said.

Graduates of the program “have a real advantage” to getting hired, Boeing’s Healy said, though he emphasized that they’re not guaranteed jobs.

In the last few years, Boeing has changed the way it hires production workers. In the past, prospective machinists had to complete pre-employment screening and several weeks of unpaid training before getting hired on with the aerospace giant. Boeing has done away with the unpaid training aspect of getting hired, Healy said.

“We’ve beefed up the training for employees once they begin,” he said.

That training spans 10 weeks but is paid time, Healy said. Production managers are more involved in the interviewing and hiring process, he said. But the process starts by prospective workers applying for jobs online.

For more on employment at Boeing, go to the company’s careers page, at www.boeing.com/careers.

For more on courses at the Washington Aerospace Training and Research Center, go to washingtonaerospace.com.

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