The economy may be in the doldrums, but a few companies and government agencies in the East Valley are bucking the trend and hiring tens and even hundreds of new employees.
However, some positions require specific skills such as engineering or medical degrees that many job seekers may not possess. Others require relocation.
The availability is clustered in certain fields such as health care, defense contracting or government jobs that are less affected by economic conditions. Outside of those exceptions, mass hiring activity has slowed dramatically since last year, said Patrick Burkhart, director of the Maricopa Workforce Connection, the county’s job placement service.
“We’ve been getting mostly ones and twos,” he said, referring to the number of job openings that companies have available.
“Even as recently as last summer we were working with companies that were hiring in the hundreds. That all dropped off last fall. It’s been very shallow since then.”
The following companies and organizations are among the companies still recruiting in the East Valley for a substantial number of new employees, grouped by industry:
DEFENSE AND HIGH TECH
General Dynamics C4 Systems division in Scottsdale is listing about 335 available jobs on its Web site. Many are located at military bases and other government sites around the country as the company works to fill Department of Defense contracts for advanced communications equipment.
For those who want to stay in the Valley, about 75 jobs are located at the company’s Scottsdale site at Hayden and McDowell roads.
Most of the positions require advanced engineering and project-management skills, said Fran Jacques, spokeswoman for the C4 Systems division.
“We are not immune to the economic impact, but we are hiring,” she said. “We provide a bright environment for engineers and other professionals who understand government contracts and can qualify for government security clearances.”
The division won several major contracts from the U.S. Department of Defense just last week, including a $70.8 million contract from the U.S. Army for an enhanced signals-intelligence system to detect enemy electronic signals, and a $15.9 million deal from the U.S. Navy to build radios for air-traffic control.
Both contracts have the potential to expand greatly if the armed services approve extensions, Jacques said.
More information is available at www.gdc4s.com/careers.
Another high tech company on a hiring spree is the Scottsdale-based Go Daddy Group, the Internet services company. The firm has about 115 positions open, many of them at the company’s Gilbert customer-care center at 2299 W. Obispo.
The jobs range from software developers to marketing, quality assurance and customer care, company officials said.
The firm is expanding even as the economy contracts because companies are conducting more of their business via the Internet, said Chief Operating Officer Warren Adelman.
“We exist at the heart of the Internet economy,” he said.
More information is available at www.godaddy.jobs.
Technology jobs also are available at Orbital Sciences Corp. in Chandler, where the company is hiring engineers and technicians to develop a new rocket for NASA that will supply the International Space Station.
Twenty-six Chandler jobs are listed on Orbital’s Web site and others are available but haven’t been posted because they are being recruited in different ways, said Orbital spokesman Barry Beneski.
“For the past three years, we have been on a hiring binge ,.. and we have largely caught up to our needs,” he said. “But we do intend to continue to grow, but maybe not at the breakneck pace of the last couple of years.”
Many of the available positions are technical in nature and require engineering degrees, he said.
Information is available online at www.orbital.jobs.
The U.S. Census Bureau has been doing extensive hiring in preparation for the 2010 census count next year. So far the bureau has filled about 1,800 positions to begin canvassing in the next few weeks, said Phoenix Regional Manager Linda Bowen.
But other positions will open later this year when the bureau opens four local offices around the metro area, she said.
About 30 supervisor positions will be available to run those offices, and those jobs will be listed on the bureau’s Web site beginning in April, she said. The offices are scheduled to open in October, and then thousands of additional jobs could open up to staff those offices, said Census Bureau spokesman Doug Wayland.
The initial address canvassing will entail confirming addresses given to the bureau by the Maricopa Association of Governments, Bowen said. In March 2010, the bureau will mail census forms to all Valley addresses, and occupants will be asked to return the forms by April 1, 2010. Then bureau staffers will conduct follow up interviews at addresses of residents who don’t respond, she said.
To become a census worker, applicants must pass a test and undergo a background check, she said.
Health care is always a field that needs workers regardless of economic conditions. Banner Health, one of the largest employers in the East Valley, has nearly 90 job openings listed on its Web site for locations in Mesa, Gilbert and Tempe.
Regional Recruitment Director Lauren Trollope said the company has positions available at many of its East Valley sites including Banner Desert, Baywood and Gateway medical centers.
Also, the company is hiring for its new children’s hospital, which will open later this year at Southern and Dobson roads in Mesa.
Many other jobs are available that are not posted on the Web site, she said.
Not all of the jobs are clinical positions requiring technical and medical training, she said. Other jobs such as patient transporters, environmental services, kitchen services and administrative assistants are also available, she said.
Banner has not been totally unaffected by the economic downturn, Trollope said.
“In November and December, we were looking at 1,300 to 1,400 open positions (in the Southwest region),” she said. “We’re down to about 800 now.”
Those interested can find more information at www.bannerhealth.com/careers.
Juno Health Care, a service that provides nurses and nurses’ assistants to hospitals on an as-needed basis, is seeking to fill about 50 available positions in its registry, said Jessica Reyes, general manager of the Phoenix office.
About 10 of those positions are for assignments in the East Valley and about 10 for California. The remainder are for medical centers in other parts of the Valley, she said.
“Because our company is new in the registry business, we are building up our registry to have a pool of nurses so we can service all of our hospitals,” she said.
To qualify, nurses need to have the appropriate degrees and state licenses, she said.
Pay can vary from $10 to $14 an hour for certified nurses’ assistants up to $45 an hour for RNs, she said. Interested persons can get more information at www.junohealthcare.com.