More than 1,000 apply for jobs

Published 10:54 am Thursday, April 12, 2012

People wait in line to apply for jobs at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters in Windsor. More than 800 will be hired. STEPHEN H. COWLES/TIDEWATER NEWS



SUFFOLK—For about a thousand people in line at downtown Suffolk’s Hilton Garden Inn on Wednesday, it wasn’t so much about what kind of jobs they were chasing as it was about the simple fact that new jobs were available.

“I’ll take anything” seemed to be the general consensus among those in line for a job fair held by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters.

The Vermont-based company is creating a new production and distribution site at the Shirley T. Holland Intermodal Park on Route 460 in Windsor. The company, which plans to hire 800, makes single-serve portion packets for its Keurig brewing system. Roasting, grinding and packing would also be done locally. Once operational, GMCR would be open 20 to 24 hours a day.

People came from near and far to submit resumes.

“I just want a job,” said Diane Jones of Suffolk. “I’m already working at Lipton, but I need the extra money.”

Montreal Scott of Suffolk echoed the words of Sandy Pessagno of Zuni: “I’ll take anything.”

For a few minutes, both were at the end of the line. But a half-dozen people soon lined up behind them.

Scott’s a floor technician for Target, and Pessagno is unemployed but said she’s driven a tractor-trailer in the past.

“I’m looking to get into the door,” said Allen Pudder, who lives t two miles from the new Green Mountain facility. “I need to be productive. I have two children to take care of.”

Pudder is retired from the Ford Motor Co. and recently left a temporary position at a warehouse because it wasn’t “going anywhere.”

“It’s sad the economy’s in bad shape and that everybody and his brother has to be out here for a job in order to survive,” he said.

Pudder researched the company online and said he was “very impressed” by its record of employer and community relations, and that it strives to help independent coffee makers.

“I’d like to be a team member with them,” he said.

Rosemary Romanczyk of Chesapeake and Larry Ruffin of Murfreesboro, N.C., also attended the job fair.

“I’m looking for anything,” Romanczyk said. “Full time, part time, as many hours as I can get on any shift.”

She’s employed by Michael’s, a craft supply store. But she said, “I can’t live on one day a week.”

Ruffin, who is unemployed, learned about the fair through his local paper.

“I’ll take anything available, really,” he said. “I have work experience, though not like Green Mountain. But I’m pretty sure I could be successful.”

Kathy Peters, a Franklin resident who’s employed as a caregiver, hopes to become a machine operator.

“I’ve worked at Lipton Tea and Twin Pack, a Canada-based company that makes plastics and is in Newport News,” she said.

Hiring officials from GMCR at the site were not available for comment.

However, Katie Gilroy, manager for corporate communications, said she heard there were about 1,000 attendees.

“Resumes were collected and brief interviews held, though no on-the-spot hires. But once hired, they’d start right away,” said Gilroy.