Lockheed Martin holds Fort Worth job fair, expects to hire 2,000

Hundreds of people lined up and waited to be interviewed in hopes of starting a career in Lockheed Martin.

Those who arrived at the Sheraton Hotel in Downtown Fort Worth Tuesday morning were the best of the best. Some were even hired on the spot.

People lined up by the hundreds hoping to launch a new career on the wings of the F-35 fighter.

One man got in line at two in the morning. Most people in line already had jobs.

"It's Lockheed Martin. Work for a good company, good benefits. They're military friendly,” said military veteran Jesus Mercado.

Lockheed Martin says it has 2,000 jobs to fill as it ramps up production of the F-35.

"You got to be willing to work at it,” said job applicant Duanyele Bush. “Anything in life, you got to work at. It's part of it."

Very early on, President Donald Trump said he wanted to increase military spending but insisted on cutting cost overruns for the joint strike fighter. His tweets in December sent Lockheed's market value plummeting by $4 billion.

Economist Allyn Needham says Lockheed had cut its costs while still sustaining production and keeping the F-35 from being a target in Washington. In fact, the Pentagon recently added 13 more jets to its production order. And increased defense spending has sent Lockheed's outlook soaring.

"Would Trump like a lesser price? Yes. Would Lockheed want more money? Yes,” Needham said. “But they found that sweet spot where we can live with this and both can claim a victory and a victory of cooperation."

As for the job fair, applicants came from everywhere. Some came as far away as Pensacola, Florida, leaving with a job but coming back to stay.

"Knowing this is where we're going to settle down, this is where we're going to buy our first house and this is where our kids are going to be raised,” said Carolyn Schafer.

Needham says the job fair demonstrates the next step in a recovering economy.

The job fair will take place Tuesday until 8 p.m. at the Sheraton Hotel. Lockheed says it will have another job fair in August.