About 250 job seekers came to Pensacola State College Thursday morning, to get information about the jobs which will be available in construction of the new bridge over Pensacola Bay.
CareerSource EscaRosa and Skanska USA Civil Southeast hosted the three-hour “information session” in areas such as hiring needs, application procedures, and available subcontracting opportunities.
“Anything to do with bridge construction, from concrete to metal workers to general labor,” said Jeff Dyer, Business Services/Program Coordinator with CareerSource. “It’s a great challenge but it’s also one of the best things that we do, which is the fun part – connecting employers to the job seekers.”
Designs for the new Pensacola Bay Bridge were made public last July. The Skanska depiction of the 3.7 mile span, costing about $400 million, contains features which were required for all proposals.
“It will be a six-lane facility,” said Ian Satter with the Florida Department of Transportation. “Plans call for a ten-foot multi-use path to bike and jog there as well. There will be wider shoulders, so if somebody’s car breaks down, they’ll be able to pull over. You won’t have those traffic delays”
John Krovic, Senior Vice President of Human Resources with Skanska USA, says they provided session attendees an overview of the position that would need to be filled, adding that the main message is that the project is in the early stages.
“This is still sort of ‘ramp-up time’ for us; we’re mobilizing the project, setting it up,” said Krovic. “So as time rolls along, we’re really sending a message to stay in touch, follow the project, and watch for more information through different sources.”
Along with individuals who are interested in landing a job, the session also provided data for contractors seeking participation. Krovic says the message was the same for both groups.
“I hope people learned something about the project that was useful,” said Krovic. “Whether they’re a subcontractor or they’re interested in employment. Each group are [sic] very important in the success of the project.”
One added advantage is Skanska’s history of work in northwest Florida and the Pensacola area. Major, high-profile projects include the new bridge over Interstate 10, which replaced the span that was shattered by Hurricane Ivan in 2004.
Thursday’s information session, says CareerSource EscaRosa’s Jeff Dyer, is the start of getting an idea of the project’s job needs, and the availability of a qualified workforce.
“For this project what we’re doing is, we’re going to put it to our CareerSource EscaRosa website,” Dyer said. “We are going to be holding other events in the near future; we just have to figure out what those dates are going to be.”
That website is www.careersourceescarosa.com/SKANSKA.