MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, GA. -- Broken down equipment from Camp LeJeune, N.C., started arriving at the Albany Maintenance Center two weeks ago and much more is expected from Operation Enduring Freedom.
With the increased workload, the Maintenance Center will hire more than 200 people, which will benefit many local residents. The Maintenance Center is seeking experienced painters, sandblasters, mechanics, electronic mechanics, welders and other technical personnel for full-time term employment.
Qualified personnel who are hired will become federal employees for a minimum of one year and one day. However, depending on the workload, they may be employed for up to four years, said Don Jensen, manager of the Maintenance Center's Trades Department. The available positions will pay between $17 and $22 an hour, with limited health and retirement benefits, which is much more than a worker would get if he is hired for a similar job by at a privately owned local business.
A variety of Marine Corps equipment from small arms and radios to heavy armored vehicles is expected to arrive at the base within the next year.
Joe Johnson and Paul Futch are two of 15 employees who have already been hired to help with the increased workload.
When Johnson heard the base was hiring he immediately filled out an application, he said. He worked at the Maintenance Center when the base was flooded with equipment from Desert Storm and has looked forward to the opportunity to come back ever since. This time around Johnson hopes to show his worth and maybe become a full time employee.
"This is a great experience," said Johnson. "If you stay here a short time or a long time, you learn something. You bring something to the table and you walk away with something."
Futch has been working two part time jobs because he was unable to find full time employment in the area and was glad when he heard the base was hiring.
"I've been trying to get on with the military again," Futch said. "I'm retired from the Air Force Reserves. I served in Desert Storm, and I just want to do something to help the Marine Corps."
Both Futch and Johnson are glade to not only be employed but to be given the opportunity to help their country, they said.
The Albany Maintenance Center normally employs 400-500 people but with this increased workload they could hire an additional 300-400 employees.
"This is an essential part of what we do for the Marine Corps," said Jensen.
"This is very similar to After the Gulf War the Marine Corps gave us 30 months to do the reconstitution effort. This time they're challenging us to try to do it in 18 months."
Those interested in the available positions can call the Human Resources Office at 639-5232. Job seekers can also log onto the base's web site, www.ala.usmc.mil. Once on the site, click on the careers link. Follow that link to the civilian job openings pages and search for jobs in Georgia.
The base employs more than 2,300 civilians, who are mostly from Albany and the surrounding communities.