WALLER, Texas - While the Houston area struggles to recover jobs that were lost, during the pandemic, one employer is looking to grow, in a big way, with some unusual benefits.
The Daikin Texas Technology Park opened near Waller, in 2016, designing and building air conditioners. With 9,000 people already working in the 4.4 million square-foot facility, the company needs to hire 1,000 more, to meet growing demand.
"These jobs are absolutely necessary, in order for us to meet the demands of our customers and to provide this essential product to the U.S. and Canada," says Daikin HR Director Kristi Pittman.
Job descriptions include fork lift drivers, team leaders, assemblers, engineers and other professional roles. Pay starts at $12.50 an hour, and goes up from there, with full benefits for every hire.
Harris County commissioner Tom Ramsey says those jobs can solve a lot of problems.
"We can write all the checks you want to, in Washington, but the best thing we can do for people is get them a job," says Ramsey.
One final solution to landing a job so far outside the city, is a free ride.
A partnership between Daikin and METRO will use park and ride facilities at West Little York and Hillcroft as transportation hubs, from which Daikin will pay to transport employees, who need it, to and from work. If successful, such partnerships could add a new dimension to landing jobs in Houston.
"We want to bring manufacturing, and other jobs, to Houston," says community leader Tomaro Bell. "The last thing we want to companies to say is, 'We got the jobs but you can't get the people to me'."
The job fair is scheduled for Saturday, March 27, at the HCC Spring Branch campus, located at 1010 West Sam Houston Parkway. It lasts from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and many will be hired on start work as early as Monday.
The bus service will take a little longer, until the company can determine how many rides it needs to provide.