KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Among the baggage claim at the new terminal, Kansas City International Airport hosted a massive hiring fair Tuesday.
Airport leaders are still trying to fill jobs, everything ranging from traffic controllers to cooks and bartenders, at the new $1.5 billion facility serving about 40,000 travelers a day.
On Tuesday, employers were aggressively hiring people on the spot for almost all jobs related to the inner-workings of the airport.
The interviews happened as bags dropped onto the carousels, pushed and directed along their path by workers at Vanderlande.
“Vanderlande runs the baggage handling system at the airport,” said Benjamin Tobin, KCI site manager.
“The good thing about our company is the terminal opened up on Feb. 28; everybody’s learning together. So you can get in at an entry level and work your way up from there,” Tobin said.
It’s jobs like this drawing dozens of people to the hiring event in the span of a couple of hours. Coordinators said there’s potential for similar events in future months.
KCI’s job demand is driven by the new terminal with expanded retail and food options and more flights.
“But they had 50 or so concessions compared to just a handful [in the old terminals], a few that were sprinkled throughout the old terminals. So a lot more retail offerings and restaurant offerings. So that takes a lot more people out there to do that,” KCI spokesperson Joe McBride said.
Some applicants noted the commute could be justified by the wages. For example, some people working with baggage can start at $25 an hour.
Tobin said the new terminal is also creating chances for quick advancement.
“I basically started in St. Louis as a technician. Went to a supervisor to lead supervisor and here I am, a site manager with the new terminal,” Tobin said.
“When you find somebody that wants to work and he cares what he’s doing, you know, sky’s the limit,” Tobin said.