There are several hundred open positions in Mojave as companies such as the Spaceship Company, XCOR and Scaled Composites begin to ramp up operations.
“It’s ironic that we’re having a recruitment problem in Mojave,” said Stu Witt, CEO and general manager of the Mojave Air and Space Port. He added that this is a good problem to have.
The Spaceship Company, which is building WhiteKnightTwos and SpaceShipTwos for Virgin Galactic, has engineering and production positions open. The company is holding a jobs fair in Wichita, Kansas, on March 14 to recruit prospective employees there.
Scaled Composites has 11 positions featured on its website, including aerodynamicist, composite fabricator, manufacturing engineer, and purchasing manager.
XCOR is staffed up on the engineering side but is looking to build out its business operations. The company is seeking a director of retail sales and channel operations to oversee sales to individual passengers and organizations that want to fly experiments on the suborbital Lynx vehicle.
Masten Space Systems is currently listing five open positions on its website. The company is developing vertical take-off/vertical landing vehicles for suborbital flights.
Firestar Technologies has openings for a test engineer and a testing technician. The aerospace company specializes in advanced chemical propulsion, power systems and diagnostic instrumentation.
Stratolaunch Systems doesn’t have any present job openings. However, there is construction going on at the company’s production site at the airport, which will create some jobs.
The Mojave Airport is getting close to hiring a director of economic development and aerospace growth. Witt said on Tuesday that he has interviewed three of four finalists for the position. The new hire will work to promote the airport and to develop new business.
Witt said he was very impressed with candidates, saying they all had high quality, depth of experience, and great ideas for how to perform the job. He expects to have a recommendation for the East Kern Airport District Board of Directors, which oversees the spaceport, in April.
Meanwhile, Witt is expecting a new round of flight testing by the airport’s tenants in April. Board members approved the expenditure of $332,824 to purchase a new firetruck to replace some outdated equipment. Officials expect to take delivery of the vehicle in late March or early April.