CHISHOLM (AP) -- Northwest Airlines is adding 100 jobs at its Iron Range Reservations Center in this northeastern Minnesota town, the company announced Monday.
The airline will recruit workers beginning in mid-July, said spokeswoman Mary Beth Schubert.
''We simply need more workers to meet the demand,'' she said.
The center employs about 550 full-time workers. The additions -- mostly full-time positions -- mean the center will employ 650 full-time employees. Starting wages for the new hires will be $10.64 per hour, Schubert said.
Most of the positions will be filled by new hires, although some current Northwest reservation center employees could transfer to Chisholm from other reservation centers, Schubert said.
''Everything Range-wide like that helps,'' Mayor John Champa said. ''It helps all of us, but out of the 100 jobs at least one-fourth of them will probably live in Chisholm.''
The new jobs are timely; next summer, about 1,400 workers at LTV Steel Mining Co. in Hoyt Lakes are expected to lose their jobs.
U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar, D-Minn., said in a news release that he has contacted the airline and asked that LTV workers be given special consideration for the new jobs.
Northwest officials indicated they will make a special effort to recruit the workers, Oberstar said.
Under terms of a $9.7 million financial agreement with the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board, the center was to employ 604 workers by 2002. The package included a $6.7 million grant and $3 million loan.
The 42,000 square-foot center opened in 1996 with 100 employees. Workers are expected to handle 6 million calls and 2.4 million pieces of mail this year.
The center is now one of the Iron Range's largest employers.
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