All aboard: United’s job fair on Guam draws hopeful applicants for Denver hub
By Mar-Vic Cagurangan
“I guess there’s no harm in trying. It’s a great opportunity and I hope I get lucky,” A.T. of Tamuning said, crossing his fingers as he emerged from his job interview.
A.T. was among the hundreds of hopeful Guamanians who tendered their resumés on the first day of the job fair hosted by United Airlines at the Hyatt Regency Guam. United is recruiting for positions in its Denver hub to meet the demand of its operational expansion.
“Denver, why not? It’s a chance for me to see the world. If it doesn’t work out for me, then I can always come back to Guam,” A.T. said.
Currently employed at a local retail establishment, the 27-year-old Tamuning resident applied for a ramp service job.
United has announced 1,800 job positions that opened this year in its Denver hub for various departments, including ramp services, aircraft technicians, facilities maintenance technicians and storekeepers.
Matt Miller, vice president of United’s Denver hub, said the opening of the two-day job fair drew a crowd size that surpassed the projection
“We don’t have the exact number right now but I would say that the response is overwhelmingly awesome; it’s more than we expected,” Miller said in an interview Tuesday. “We already have a few hundred people come in today.”
United later opted to extend the job fair through Thursday “so we can see as many people as we can,” Miller said.
The company is offering a $25,000 incentive for Guam residents who may be willing to relocate to Denver and commit to the job for at least one year.
“The relocation incentive is just one part of what we hope is the reason why folks want to come and start a career in aviation,” Miller said.
Migrating to the other side of the world brings curiosity to those who grew up on a tiny Pacific island.
“We brought employees from Denver who are originally from Guam. They are in session answering questions like ‘what’s life like in Denver’ or ‘what’s the weather like,'” Miller said.
For starters, Miller said Denver is “a great place to live” with “the best medical facilities,” and levies low tax rates.
The weather is “phenomenal," Miller said. “We have four seasons. There are more days of sunshine in Denver than just anywhere in the U.S.”
The employment package consists of "really competitive wages," Miller said. "We got annual pay increase scales—the longer years you are with United, the more you’re able to make.”
Besides the hefty paycheck, Miller said United also offers other enticing perks, such as health care, 401K and travel benefits. “The flight benefits for employees extend to their families, and that is clearly one of the reasons some folks want to work for the airline,” he said.
While Colorado is the main recruitment jurisdiction for the Denver hub, Miller said United is seeking to utilize its historical connection with Guam, which is one of the carrier’s hubs.
“We have a long affiliation here,” Miller said. “United has been in Guam and in the region for 55 years, which is something that we are proud of. Everyone on the island has either a family member or a friend who works for United. Therefore, folks know who we are. They know what our companies stand for.”
Prior to the 2010 merger, Guam was served by Continental Micronesia, a subsidiary of Continental Airlines, which has since been absorbed by United.
The Denver hub, home to United’s flight training center, currently has 9,000 employees. “We are the largest employer in the city of Denver and we are proud of that,” Miller said.
The Denver operation, which is currently the same size as the Chicago and Houston hubs, will become the largest in the network once the expansion is completed and all of its 90 gates opened, Miller said.
“We have invested over $1 billion in the last three years on growing the Denver market,” he said.
“As we grow the Denver hub, which is relatively the fastest growing hub in our network, we are looking for opportunities to find candidates that are interested in starting a career in aviation," Miller added.
United earlier announced plans to hire 10,000 new pilots by 2030, in addition to the 12,000 it already employs.
“We just recently broke ground on a new building at our flight training center that will have 12 full-motion simulators,” Miller said.