Those seeking work now or in the future can find information at a two-day job and recruiting fair in Kennewick with Hanford and other Tri-City-area employers.
The Connect Tri-Cities job fair was organized in part to bolster the pipeline of new Hanford nuclear reservation workers that will be needed as a large number of the current Hanford work force nears retirement.
The average age of Hanford workers is over 50 and cleanup of the nuclear reservation is expected to continue for decades.
About half of the almost 1,900 employees of Hanford contractor Mission Support Alliance will be at retirement age or near retirement age in the next five years, said MSA’s Renee Brooks.
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The contractor’s owners — Leidos, Jacobs and Centerra Group — are the sponsors of Connect Tri-Cities, which is being held in connection with other Hanford contractors and the Department of Energy.
Anyone is welcome at the job fair 1-7 p.m. Wednesday and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday at the Toyota Center in Kennewick. Registration may be done at the door or online at connect-tricities.com.
One emphasis is educating students and veterans for jobs available now and on future career opportunities.
Students in families with Hanford workers might be well aware of career opportunities at the nuclear reservation.
But Connect Tri-Cities wants also “to reach students who may not realize the opportunities in their hometown,” Brooks said.
More details on Connect Tri-Cities, including the job fair, are posted at connect-tricities.com.
Jobs related to Hanford and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland account for 13.5 percent of the total employment in Benton and Franklin counties, said Ajsa Suljic, regional labor economist for the state Employment Security Department.
But those jobs pay 30.4 percent of the wages in the two counties, she said. The average annual wage for Hanford and PNNL jobs is about $95,000.
The job fair will include more than 60 employers at Hanford and elsewhere in the Tri-Cities. One-on-one job preparation sessions; coaching and mentoring interview session; and interview and resume writing sessions will be offered.
Students can learn about available internships and scholarships. Connect Tri-Cities also offered field trips to students in late September. They visited the HAMMER training facility at Hanford, the LIGO observatory at Hanford and Trios Southridge Hospital.
The job fair also will have a strong skilled labor connection, with officials from 15 labor unions on hand to talk about career opportunities and benefits.
Speakers are set during the job fair, including Edward DeJesus, an author with a message about reclaiming the lost economic fortunes of the nation’s youth.
Veterans are invited to a free breakfast 8 to 9:30 a.m. Thursday. They must register at firstname.lastname@example.org and space is limited.
Speakers at the breakfast will discuss the value of veterans’ skills and provide tips on jobs and services.
Veterans are a key part of the Hanford workforce, Brooks said.
At the Hanford vitrification plant, for example, 330 employees — 11 percent — of the workforce, are veterans, said Bechtel National.