Job seekers lined the halls of Bill Heddles Recreation Center last Friday, anxious to put in an application with Hamon Contractors, the firm building the alternate truck route in Delta. Hamon is looking for bridge carpenters, heavy equipment operators, pipe laborers, truck drivers, general laborers and flaggers.
Personnel director Candice Weston estimated the number of applicants at 300 to 350; roughly 20-30 will be hired, depending on the skills they bring to the job. Hamon will bring in about 10 employees from the Front Range, including three who will call Delta home for the duration of the project. Brad Davis is the project manager, Dave Aupperle is project engineer and Tony Selvage is the site superintendent. A number of subcontractors will also be on site, including Your Way Safety & Sign Supply. Estimator Kirk Knowles participated in the job fair Friday.
"For us it's been great," he said. "In addition to this project, we're looking for help for a number of other construction projects in this area."
Knowles's firm specializes in providing flaggers and traffic control devices for construction projects. Certified flaggers can earn $12.50 to $12.63 an hour; laborers make $14 to $15.63 an hour. By mid-morning he had spoken to more than 40 applicants.
"It's good to see a good strong turnout but it's also sad in its own way because there are so many good people looking for work right now," Knowles said. "We're glad to do our small part to put people to work."
Ashley Alberts is one of the applicants interested in landing a job as a flagger "or
anything, really." She waited patiently in line with her boyfriend, both of whom live in Montrose. Neither currently has a job.
Curtis Snelling got in line around 7 a.m., and was finally nearing the interview tables by 9:30 a.m. With just three Hamon representatives conducting interviews the line moved slowly; owner Bruce Hamon finally jumped in to help speed things up. After a short interview, Snelling headed to his job at Big O Tires. He was the only applicant this reporter spoke to who was employed.
Nineteen-year-old Lance Abeyta said he has been out of work about six months. He described himself as a hard worker who is looking for a position as a general laborer.
Kenny Arnett, 31, was with Oxbow for seven years before he was laid off about a year ago. He said a job as a heavy equipment operator would make Christmas a lot merrier for his wife and two children. While he calls Delta County home, he said he's willing to relocate to find steady employment, but, "There's nothing going on anywhere."
Trevor Simon drove from Whitewater to apply for a job with Hamon. With 30 years of experience in the construction industry, his chances of landing a job may be better than most. "Feast or famine — I grew up in the construction industry so I know how it is." Working in the oil fields isn't any different, he said. He quit his most recent job in the oil industry because he wasn't getting 40 hours a week. "There just wasn't any work," he said.
The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment estimates the unemployment rate in Delta County at 7.4 percent for October, slightly above the state unemployment rate of 6.9 percent.blog comments powered by Disqus