Lockheed Martin looks to fill 500 new positions

Lockheed Martin hosted another job fair on Tuesday as it looks to fill about 500 positions.

Some people looking for work traveled hundreds of miles for a chance at one of the jobs. Positions that were offered are part of the production of the F-35 fighter. And while there weren't huge lines out the door like past job fairs, plenty of people still attended and came prepared.

Lockheed Martin held its fourth job fair this year. It's hiring hundreds of workers as it ramps up to full production of the F-35 fighter jet. Some took a day off from work to drive from out of state for a chance to work at Lockheed.

Jeff Ott applied for a position. He says he's ready to move from Louisiana. He's wanted the job since high school.

“I love airplanes, especially fighter jets. Always been in love with those things,” he said. “This has been my dream to work for Lockheed since before I joined the Air Force. One of the reasons I joined was to get experience to work in some place like this."

Only assembly line jobs were offered this time. There were no long lines. It was in contrast to those that stretched for two blocks at Lockheed's job fairs this summer when applicants were going for almost every job title connected with the F-35 project.

You don't have to look far to find families whose legacy is connected to Lockheed.

"My grandfather worked for them, and my father in law worked for them, a couple of generations,” said Matt Atkinson. “If I get on and work for them, it’s a good thing."

Christopher Smith's father worked for Lockheed when it was General Dynamics. As a child, he'd see the jets soaring above him.

"I've been trying for the past 7 years, maybe longer than that, to get hired on and just to get a phone call,” Smith said. “Getting this today is a blessing

Lockheed says it needs the extra workers as it ramps up production of the F-35 from 66 aircraft this year to 17 planes a month in three years, totaling to more than 200 fighters a year.

If the famous F-16 is an example, the expectation is that orders and production of the F-35 could stretch out for decades.

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