TWIN FALLS • Standing in line for an hour only got Kirk Woolman out of the sun.
As the single-file line inched closer to an air-conditioned room, Woolman wasn’t even halfway to his final destination.
But he was one step closer to getting his foot in the door.
Like the others who stood in line with him, Woolman was one of the hundreds of job applicants who showed up at the Chobani job fair on Friday.
Due to the high amount of interest, the applicant line snaked its way throughout the College of Southern Idaho’s Herrett Center for Arts and Science and all of the way out the door.
By July 1, the Greek yogurt manufacturer must fill hundreds of jobs before opening its new production plant in Twin Falls. The majority of the top-level management positions have already been filled, but production and support staff positions still remain open.
Standing with Woolman were plenty of other seasonal and part-time employees who also sought better jobs. Some were older, dressed in suits and carrying several copies of freshly printed resumes. Others wore jeans and swapped tips on how to interview successfully.
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After making it to the end of the line, Idaho Department of Labor representatives greeted the applicants at the entrance of the interview room. After standing for more than an hour, applicants were allowed a chance to sit while waiting on an interview with a Chobani representative.
Chobani will eventually hire 400 employees to run the new plant, but won’t hire them all at once, said Eric Nielson, the company’s human resource manager.
“When we open in the summer, we won’t be running at full capacity,” he said. “We’ll begin operating in phases. It may take a few months before we need the full 400 jobs.”
For Woolman, the job fair was a chance to land a permanent job. After working a series of seasonal stints for the past few months, the Hagerman resident is looking for full-time work.
The promise of most of Chobani’s wages starting at $14 per hour was another incentive for his interest.
“I was promised construction work but that keeps getting pushed back,” Woolman said. “I’m going for a management job today.”