The largest employer in Middle Georgia is getting even bigger.
Robins Air Force Base announced plans Wednesday to hire 1,200 people at its Air Logistics Complex by the end of 2019.
The new jobs were created because of new work that’s come to the base during the past year, Brig. Gen. John Kubinec, Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex commander, said in a news conference held on the base’s flight line.
“Just over a year ago they rolled out the very first Global Hawk we did here,” he said. “We have inducted our very first J-STARS aircraft for (programmed depot maintenance). We have brought in our first Marine Corps C-130 for overhaul.
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“I would say that this has been the most consequential year for new workload growth at Robins in over a decade.”
The complex provides depot maintenance, engineering support and software development to major weapons systems including F-15, C-5, C-130, C-17 and Special Operations Forces aircraft.
The base is looking to fill a variety of jobs with people especially skilled in aircraft maintenance and engineering. The jobs include aircraft mechanics, sheet metal mechanics and electronics mechanics.
“And of course, we’re in constant need of engineers of all different types,” Kubinec said.
The base will be able to fill those jobs quicker than usual because Congress approved what’s called Direct Hire Authority.
Normally, applicants have to apply for base jobs through www.usa.gov, which screens applications first. But for these new jobs, the base will be able to “hire from a resume,” Kubinec said.
“We get the resume, we call them up, they interview, and we would be able to give that person a job,” he said. “So we are able to do more on-the-spot job hiring. … Without that, there is no way we would get twelve hundred in 12 months.”
The 21st Century Partnership has set up a central website for more information about the hiring process at www.workatrobins.com.
Sen. David Perdue said the new jobs wouldn’t be possible except “for the performance of this base over the last 75 years, particularly in the last couple of years.” And it was not easy to get the Direct Hire Authority passed through Congress, but it was important to the base.
“I expect great things coming from Robins Air Force Base these next few years,” he said.
Rep. Sanford Bishop said the new jobs reflected the importance of Robins to national security and to the work that’s already being done there.
“We can truthfully say we have the best, the brightest, the most creative and the most ingenious workforce for our armed forces anywhere in the world,” he said.
Rep. Austin Scott agreed.
“This is a first-class community, a first class workforce and a first-class base,” Scott said. “It takes teamwork in Washington to make things happen. You make our job much easier by being the quality workforce that you are here.
“Things at Robins are good. Things at Robins will continue to be good, and they are going to get better.”
The additional workforce will equal “an annual economic impact of $69 million and over $345 million over the next five years,” according to statement from the base.
The new jobs are expected to be filled from all over Middle Georgia, Kubinec said. There are 24,000 people who work at the base now, and they come from more than 10 counties.
“I anticipate that we will have people who want to move to Middle Georgia to come and be a part of what we’re doing here at Robins,” Kubinec said