13 October 2006
by Eileen Curry
A Quoddy Bay LNG job fair, held at the Perry Elementary School on September 23, attracted a little over 100 people who were interested in and curious about potential job opportunities that the company plans on advertising. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is in the process of reviewing Quoddy Bay's LNG facility proposal. Job information was provided for the construction and operational phases of the proposed project.
"We are seeing a great quality of people here today," said Project Manager Brian Smith. Despite the rainy day, Smith was "thrilled" with the turnout and said, "We are not going to have a lot of trouble finding local workers to fill a very substantial portion of the jobs at the Quoddy Bay LNG facilities."
Employees of the company, which has an office on Route 190 in Perry, presented detailed job descriptions and answered questions related to the 20 facility positions expected to create 80 new jobs for the area. According to Quoddy Bay, an average of 735 workers will be needed during the three year construction phase of the project. The company had carpenters, operators, painters, pipefitters, sheet metal and iron workers and electricians at the job fair who met with individuals to describe the workforce that would be needed during the construction of a pier and import facility, a three tank storage facility and a 36-mile sendout pipeline. The company also stated that most of the technical jobs would require standard licensing required by the State of Maine. Most of the nonclerical administrative jobs would require U.S. Coast Guard certification, which the company would arrange and pay for, as well as any specialized training. Information was provided about jobs in administration, warehousing, security, quality control, safety and health, firefighting and janitorial positions.
Deputy Project Manager Adam Wilson said, "We want to hire and train as many local people as we can, so while work background is important, we want make sure people have the specifics and the basic skills for these jobs." Smith also said that Quoddy Bay LNG would offer "full employee health and dental benefits" to hired help.
Northeast Field Representative Richie Eckler explained the Helmets to Hardhats program, a federal program that provides training for military service personnel in the construction and trade industry. By applying online, military personnel can create a free profile, search a database of local jobs and prepare for interviews with hiring managers and companies. By registering, these veterans will have the benefit of putting military skills to work in local jobs.
Washington County Community College representatives Kent Lyons and Darin McGaw explained several programs that the college offers for those interested in returning to school, seeking a career or job, or needing information on how to qualify for financial aid. Information about the Advantage U program, College for Seniors, the Boat School program, several training programs and the construction trades was available.
A mobile lattice crane simulator was set up in a large truck in front of the school and operated by trainer Bill Laflamme. The Master Lift 2000 was sponsored and promoted by the Hoisting and Portable Engineers Local 4 Joint Apprenticeship and Training Program. Many people took turns in the "driver's seat" to operate a hoisting crane lift that was simulated on a large screen.
Cary Weston of Sutherland Weston Marketing Communications said that Quoddy Bay LNG plans additional job fairs in the spring of 2007. "Quoddy Bay plans to begin accepting applications and resumes in late spring and summer of 2007."
© 2006 The Quoddy Tides
Article republished on Save Passamaquoddy Bay website with permission.