WATERVILLE — An aluminum truck body and accessory manufacturer held a drive-up hiring event Tuesday afternoon in order to fill 50 positions.

Duramag, located at 977 West River Road, has open positions for welders, upfit technicians, powder coaters, sandblasters, painters and general laborers.

The company was formerly known as F3 MFG before it was purchased by the Shyft Group, a Michigan-based automobile design company, in October.

Lisa Madore, Duramag’s human resource manager, said Tuesday’s event was created in order to keep up with the company’s growth.

“We have so many orders. And it’s been like this for quite a while, so we haven’t been able to keep up with them all the way,” Madore said. “We were purchased in October; I came on board in November, and we have some great resources behind us now. (And) we’re trying to move to a seven-day work week, so to be able to do that, I need more people.”

F3 MFG moved to its 150,000-square-foot Waterville facility in 2016. In 2018, the company was named Maine’s third fastest growing business by the Central Maine Growth Council and was featured among Inc. Magazine’s annual list of the country’s 5,000 fastest-growing, privately held companies in both 2018 and 2019.

Representatives from Shyft told the Bangor Daily News in October that it bought F3 to “expand its geographic reach in the northeastern and midwestern United States.”

Duramag makes aluminum truck bodies and headache racks that are lighter and cheaper compared to steel.

Madore said if Tuesday’s event turned out well, the company would plan to host more hiring events.

Melanie Bolduc sanitizes clipboards while applicants wait to be interviewed at Tuesday’s hiring event at Duramag in Waterville. Molly Shelly/Morning Sentinel

“We’re (at) about 210 people so we’re looking for about 50 people to backfill some roles on our normal shift and then also to expand into a couple of more departments,” Madore said. “As we do this again and again, we’re looking at getting a full 100 to 150 people on the floor.”

Thirty positions were ready to be filled on the spot Tuesday; while the remaining 20 positions will have a second phase of interviews.

“For instance, if a welder came in today, we have a welder test set up inside so they could show us their skills and we could hire them on the spot,” said John Jarman, a recruiter from the company’s corporate headquarters in Novi, Michigan. “We have 30 positions that are ready to be hired on the spot today. The rest require a little more assessment, and so we’ll bring them back in for another interview.”

Jarman said the event was a great way to show the community what Duramag is all about.

“We wanted to do something to engage in the environment and the community,” Jarman said. “So we decided the best way to do that is to have an event. Have people come out, see who we are and see if we could get a few hires out of it as well.”

Dominic Meader, of Skowhegan, was among the applicants at Tuesday’s event.

Meader heard about the event directly from Madore, whom he knows from a previous job.

Melanie Bolduc, left, and John Jarman, right, prepare applications at Tuesday’s hiring event at Duramag in Waterville. Molly Shelly/Morning Sentinel

“I came to check out what this is all about,” Meader said. “I just heard about it (the event) today.”

Meader applied for a job as a sandblaster, which he said is something he’s never done before but is interested in trying out.

“It’s just something new,” Meader said.

“We’re looking to hire someone who is here every single day and brings forth a positive attitude,” Madore said. “Someone who contributes not just in their skillset but to the culture of our team. That’s what we’re building here, we’re a team. When someone is not here, that affects the rest of the team, so I want someone who is serious about growing their career and about being part of a true team.”

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