BLACKFOOT — A large, high-tech manufacturer is adding dozens of new jobs at its Blackfoot plant, despite the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Doug Sayer, chief business officer with Premier Technology, said his company added 10 jobs throughout the past couple of weeks and plans to hire 35 additional workers during the next month or two.
“Because of the loyalty of our customers and the different markets we’re in, we’re continuing to win additional projects from contracts, and that’s causing us to add more staff,” Sayer said.
Premier Technology is a custom manufacturing and fabrication shop that works large projects in the mining, federal service and food and beverage sectors.
The company currently employs about 350 workers. Sayer said new positions will be added “across the board,” including quality inspectors, project managers, engineers, designers, machinists and fabricators.
“I think we’re fortunate right now because of the volume of federal-related work, not just for Idaho National Laboratory bur for other laboratories, as well,” Sayer said.
Sayer said the company’s workload in the mining and food and beverage industries has been pushed back due to COVID-19, but Premier Technology is positioning itself to meet an anticipated increase in demand in those areas, too.
“I think there’s going to be an uptick as we try to recoup that period of time when there wasn’t much going on. That work still needs to take place,” Sayer said.
Sayer is optimistic the nation’s economy will also experience a gradual recovery throughout the next six months to a year.
“I see signs of that already in our industry,” Sayer said.
Sayer said the new positions will be high-paying jobs with benefits.
Premier Technology employs a full-time recruiter. Sayer said the company is also tracking people who are moving into the area and seeking to recruit workers from hard-hit industries, such as oil and gas. Furthermore, Premier Technology has a machinist apprenticeship program and is working to start a welding apprenticeship. Additional information about the company and its workforce needs is available online at www.ptius.net.
“Sometimes people, especially in our industry, will see an uptick like that and think (hiring) will be temporary. These are permanent positions,” Sayer said.
Sayer said COVID-19 hasn’t slowed production within the plant, though the company has taken safeguards. The company has followed Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and implemented extra precautions amid the pandemic, including quarantining any workers who have had contact with someone who is COVID-19 positive.
The company has had only one worker test positive thus far, related to a spouse’s travel. Sayer believes the company’s education process helped the couple recognize the symptoms. The employee has since recovered and returned to work.