Standing room only at medical marijuana job fair in Danville
DANVILLE — A standing room only crowd of more than 400 job seekers packed Danville’s ballroom, where resumes were collected and one-on-one interviews conducted for what will eventually be 100 hires in a medical marijuana facility due to begin operation in Danville in December.
There was barely enough standing room in the ballroom, located at 239 Mill St., to handle all the people standing, because the 250 seats were all taken about half an hour before the formal presentation began.
“What an incredible turnout,” said Pete Kadens, CEO of Green Thumb Industries. “This is exactly why we came to Danville.”
Montour County Commissioner Trevor Finn watched the crowd file in. “And they just keep coming,” he said. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen more people in this ballroom.”
The company will be occupying the Iron Town Commerce Center, the site of the former TRW plant, on East Market Street.
“The reaction to our coming into an area is positive wherever we go and that shocks a lot of people,” Kadens said. “But I’ve never seen anything like this. I’ve never seen as many people as interested as I’ve seen in Danville. I don’t know what that says, but looking out into the audience it’s just incredible.”
“We’re not just in this for the money,” Kadens said. “We’re good at what we do. The beneficiaries here will be the community, patients and us.”
After short remarks by Kadens and members of his team, they began the interview process at five stations strategically located around the ballroom. Long queue lines held scores of prospective candidates for administrative and management jobs, gardeners, processors, production and security positions.
Job seekers brought resumes, which they handed to company officials who were doing the interviewing.
Jake Silversteen, of Danville, said he was there to apply for management. “I looked the company up and it is growing very fast. I want to be a part of it. I like their company culture.”
On another line was Melinda Reina, of Sunbury, who said she’s been a gardener for 35 years. “I don’t know this crop, but I could learn pretty fast and I know I could really help this group.”
In phase one of the hiring process, said vice president of people Eunice Kim, 10 people will be contacted immediately.
“The first group of hires will plant the seed, so to speak, for the project,” Kadens said. “We start with 10 people, get the company growing literally and figuratively. Three months later you have a crop and you need people to trim and process. March of 2018 is where we really start adding people.”
Kadens said that news of pending lawsuits, as reported by the Morning Call of Allentown on Wednesday, did not concern him. “In every state there has been litigation. We are already in five states. People don’t like to lose. These are highly coveted, highly valued, rare licenses. So it’s a tough thing. We have a job to do. Our job is to grow medicine and deliver that medicine to patients who need it. We’re not going to lift up our heads and focus on pending litigation.”
“Frankly,” he said, “the litigation doesn’t affect us. We think we did everything right, and we won on merit, so we are not going to spend a lot of time thinking about the courts. We will watch and see what’s going on and be aware. Information is power and we want to be informed but we do not intend to delay operations in any way. We are going full force, irrespective of what’s going on in the courts.”
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