LANCASTER — Dozens of people from across the region came to a job fair Tuesday hoping to snag an electrical technician position in Iraq or Afghanistan that pays more than $100,000 a year.
Sustainment Solutions, also known as SSI Worldwide, is based in Garrard County and has secured a contract that will send qualified workers overseas for a year. Workers must pass extensive security and medical clearances, said SSI Worldwide CEO Scott Shinn. Ideally, each hired worker will have a degree or equivalent experience in electronics. Mechanical, diesel generator and HVAC experience is also helpful. Applicants must be able to lift at least 50 pounds.
People who come close to meeting the basic qualifications might be eligible for training. Year-long contracts also include 30 days of paid vacation; employment for longer than a year is possible.
Shinn declined to comment on how many jobs are available but noted this was the first time his engineering firm needed to initiate a wide-scale recruiting effort to fill vacant positions.
Representatives from Garrard County Economic Development and the Central Kentucky Career Center’s Danville office were involved in organizing and staffing the job fair, which took place in the First Southern National Bank Community Room on the Lancaster Public Square.
“This opportunity really opens the doors for some people who come through the career center,” said Erica Sluder, business services specialist with Central Kentucky Career Center. “We get a lot of returning vets, ex-military and skilled people who just happen to be unemployed.”
One of those hoping for a job offer was Lancaster resident Ron Scott, who served 10 years in theU.S. Navy. Scott said if he got the job, it would be tough to leave his family for a year but would give them a “financial booster shot.”
Most of the applicants came from Garrard and surrounding counties, though a few people from Louisville and Bowling Green inquired about the openings, according to Sluder.
“These job opportunities are another win for the community in a down economy,” said Garrard Judge-Executive John Wilson in a telephone interview. “Maybe the economy is starting to turn around.”
Even though people hired are eligible for tax breaks that should relieve them of the need to pay county taxes, the local economy will still benefit, Shinn noted.
“These jobs will better the lives of families in our own community,” Shinn said. “People will buy houses here and send money home to their families to spend here.”
It is not too late for people who think they might be eligible to apply for a position, Sluder said. For more information, call (859) 239-7004.