By Alison Lee Satake
Greater Wilmington Business Journal
During these lean economic times, even one of the largest local employers is looking for ways to stay competitive. On July 21, about 60 employees at GE in Wilmington were offered voluntary retirement packages, said Michael Tetuan, public relations manager for GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy.
The company plans to promote from within to fill those positions and has already begun to recruit for 60 positions at the entry-level - reports the Greater Wilmington Business Journal.
“We are committed to this area and want to remain viable for business and to remain competitive,” Tetuan said. “We are not lowering wages for anybody or laying anyone off.”
But, the company needed to align its wages with the local market, he said.
The company offers an entry-level hourly wage that is about 25 percent higher than average in Wilmington’s job market, he said.
In addition, about 70 current contract positions will become full-time positions. After reviewing its workforce, the company decided that hiring for these 70 positions at a higher full-time rate with benefits outweighed the expense of contracting them out.
GE Wilmington has used contracting company, Granite Services International, in the past to fill the contract positions.
Combined GE Hitachi and GE Aviation employs about 2,000 as the fourth largest local employer, according to the business journal’s Book of Lists.
The company will fill the 130 positions, the majority of which will be in the nuclear division, during the course of the year.
According to the Employment Security Commission of North Carolina, about 1,700 applicants have applied for the positions so far.
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