Williams Companies is hanging out the help wanted sign again. Employment is already up 9 percent for the year and they're looking to hire still more people.
News on 6 business reporter Steve Berg says they are looking to hire about 180 people nationwide. About 70 of those jobs will be in downtown Tulsa. And they're looking for a youth movement.
Steve Beatie talks about recruiting and signing bonuses like he's a sports agent. But he's looking for engineers. "The engineering deans are telling us that they're having trouble finding students that are coming into their colleges, so it's really to the point where we need to look at even the younger students and trying to get them into the science and math types of fields."
As a manager of college recruiting, his job is to replace the older workers getting ready to retire from Williams and there's expected to be a shortage. "We have to prepare for when that knowledge tends to walk out the door, we have to transfer that knowledge to our younger employees, so we can keep on performing like we are."
What's fueling the hiring boom? In large part, it's natural gas prices. "So our exploration and production business unit is just going crazy. I mean we are putting a lot of investment into that part of the company."
It's a big change from a couple of years ago when the company was still wobbly. Jennifer Remmert left and then came back. "There wasn't a lot of growth, there's not a lot of people coming in. A lot of the energy of the company was just in survival mode."
But now she says the expansion mood has everyone excited. "Even someone who's at the top of their game, what are we doing to invest in that person and make their job more interesting and exciting."