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Federal Government Hiring 400 Screeners At RDU International

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Safety in the skies is the reason behind a job fair going on in Durham. The government plans to hire hundreds of people to help with security.

The Transportation Security Administration took applications from hundreds of people who came to Brighton Hall, located at 1101 Slater Road in Durham Wednesday.

RDU International will have more than 400 security personnel, which is more than half the number they had before Sept. 11.

To apply for the federal screening jobs, applicants must be U.S. citizens. They must have a high school diploma, GED or a full year's experience in security work as an airport screener or X-ray technician.

Applicants will hear back in a week whether they will come back for the next step, a 4-hour computer assessment. The salary range for screeners is $23,600 to $35,400 plus insurance, retirement, vacation and sick leave benefits.

The job fair was originally scheduled to take place at the Wyndham Garden Hotel in Durham, but officials moved it due to better, faster Internet access.

One applicant said he was frustrated about the process.

"What are they doing? If this is an example of this new federal agency, it's as screwed up as all the others. I really wonder about the quality of the administration of this agency," applicant Randy Cook said.

With state unemployment reaching high numbers, many have been interested in looking at the federal security jobs. The TSA intends to federalize security at the nation's airports Nov. 19.

Jeff Blaine said he was looking for part-time work. He said he does not know about TSA, but he is ready to learn.

"I've seen it on TV and I decided to come and check it out. I understood it was security and checking out baggage, which is what I am looking for," he said.

The pay and federal benefits lured people like Chendra Robinson to apply.

"I'm looking for a career job, something that will carry me a little bit further. [I'm] just looking for employment," she said.

Those who do not want to travel to Durham for the job fair can log on to their computer and fill out a job application on the TSA's

Web site

. You can also apply for jobs at 49 different airports.