LEE COUNTY

Southwest Florida International Airport held a job fair Wednesday to fill 250 positions.

The day started with a good number of people on the hunt for one of the jobs. Some were hired on the spot and others scheduled interviews.

Most of the jobs are available because the airport expects travel to take off.

One of the job hunters who turned up was Tom Donlon. He worked in an airport out west for more than 30 years, retired to Cape Coral, and then got the itch to work again.

“Retirement is fun but there’s only so much fun you can have,” he said with a laugh. “Then it kind of starts wearing off after a while. The novelty is gone and I just like to meet people.”

He hopes he met the right people Wednesday. He was among hundreds of job seekers with a résumé in hand and dressed to impress.

“Before COVID hit, our operation was kind of minimal, but now after COVID, our operations are actually growing. So we get to hire more people than before COVID even hit,” said Xavier Barrett, station manager for EULEN America, which provides ground crews and passenger support services.

He said they hired six people and no one is happier about that than his short staff.

“Usually this time of year it gets very slow but airlines are actually increasing flights so it’s actually busier, so there’s more opportunities for us and more opportunities for the public in employment,” said Greg Smith, general manager of Swissport.

Donlon said it’s all about finding the right fit.

“Everybody’s looking for something different and you just have to find your connection and if you do, you’re fortunate, and if you’re not, you just keep on trying someplace else,” he said.

The hiring manager from Swissport, an aviation services company that provides ground and cargo handling, said the company doesn’t really hire this time of year, but with increased traffic at the airport, there’s a need.