PORTHENRY-Laurentian Aerospace won't hire any employees for more than a year, but now is the time for prospective workers to begin preparing.
That was the message delivered by employment specialists and educators during an informational meeting hosted by the Essex County Industrial Development Agency at Moriah Central School March 16.
"Laurentian won't be hiring for another year," Paul Grasso, executive director of the North Country Workforce Investment Board told about 40 people. "Construction is scheduled to start in April and will take 18 months.
"That's a long time to wait for someone looking for a job," he said. "Take this time to start preparing yourself to be a good applicant for Laurentian."
Laurentian Aerospace Corporation is scheduled to open a $175 million, state-of-the-art maintenance repair and overhaul facility for wide-body aircraft at the Plattsburgh International Airport in late 2012 or early 2013. The firm is expected to hire 200 workers initially and plans on employing up to 900 people.
The vast majority of those jobs will require specific skills, explained James McCarthy, principal of the Plattsburgh Aeronautical Institute, a division of Champlain Valley Educational Services in Plattsburgh.
The PAI Aviation Tech Program can provide workers with those skills, McCarthy said. He explained the program, which is available to high school students and adults. Participants can become Federal Aviation Administration-certified technicians in 2 to 3 years, he said.
PAI is working closely with Laurentian to ready prospective employees, McCarthy said.
The highest paid employees will likely be FAA-certified mechanics, who could earn between $75,000 and $80,000.
"We're very privileged to have a company the magnitude of Laurentian locate in our area," McCarthy said.
When Laurentian begins hiring, the process will work through OneWorkSource offices in Plattsburgh, Elizabethtown and Malone. The hiring process will be coordinated by Stacy Soucy, an employment services representative with the state Department of Labor in Plattsburgh.
Soucy will collect resumes and applications for Laurentian. Resumes can be sent to him at any time by e-mail at email@example.com
Laurentian will be hiring highly-skilled mechanics, assembly workers and administrative staff, Soucy said.
"There's a lot of emphasis on the mechanics and assembly positions, which are very important,"he said. "Laurentian will need other people, too. There will be sales and office help needed and other jobs."
Soucy said a specific list of jobs and job descriptions is expected this summer. Those jobs will be posted, he said.
"My advice to you is to get as much training as possible now," Soucy told the Moriah group. "Be ready when the hiring process begins."
The OneWorkSource office in Elizabethtown will help prospective employees during the Laurentian hiring process, said Ellen Gordon, site program manager.
"All Laurentian information will be available in our Elizabethtown office," she said. "We'll help with resumes, training, the application process. I would encourage you to come in and let us know what you're thinking."
Gordon stressed all OneWorkSource services are free.
Carol Calabrese, co-executive director of the Essex County IDA, said the Moriah meeting was in response to questions about the Laurentian project.
"We've received a lot of inquiries about potential job opportunities," she said, "in particular, the Laurentian project."
"The goal of the meeting is to provide Essex County residents with upcoming employment and training opportunities available," said Jody Olcott, Essex County IDA co-executive director, "largely from the newly-announced Laurentian project in Plattsburgh."
Several people attending the session expressed interest in the Laurentian jobs, but declined to comment. They currently have jobs, but were curious about new opportunities.
Laurentian Aerospace Corporation announced this month it has completed financial arrangements and will soon begin work on its project at the Plattsburgh International Airport.
Robin Wohnsigl, president and chief executive officer of Laurentian Aerospace said, "Work will begin immediately on various aspects of the project including the design and development work which, actually, has been in process now for a few weeks. Robson Woese and Cianbro Corporation will now move forward with details required to start construction at the Plattsburgh International Airport in late April 2011."