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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The soon-to-be Shell cracker plant in Beaver County is hiring and they want to put veterans to work.

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Veterans from around the region were invited to Heinz Field on Wednesday to explore job opportunities.

“Veterans we found have been a wonderful literal human resource for us. They bring a very good work ethic and discipline to the job, and we’ve had great experience hiring vets throughout Shell,” Michael Marr, of Shell Pennsylvania Chemicals, said.

Marr is Shell’s lead for this cracker project and said today’s veterans job fair was held in conjunction with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Community College of Beaver County that provides training for workers to apply for one of the 600 full-time jobs at the plant.

Based on other cracker plants these are family-sustaining jobs.

“Somebody who works as an operator, historically on the Gulf Coast, and has a little bit of overtime can make in the six-figure range,” Marr said.

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“This is the biggest opportunity that’s come around since the 80s,” Dave Jenna said.

Jenna, a former steelworker and Desert Storm and Desert Shield Marine veteran, has taken courses at CCBC for the skills needed by shell.

“I am currently in the process technology program about to graduate in August, and Shell has given us an opportunity as veterans to come here, basically to recruit and I’m looking for work after graduation,” Jenna said.

“I would love to work for Shell and be a process technician,” Veteran Brodie Gillespie said.

Gillespie did three deployments overseas and now is in the middle of his course work at CCBC.

“It’s an excellent program. It really is, and there is a lot that we can learn from it, and get a job,” Gillespie said.

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That’s the hope for both veterans and non-veterans alike, as Shell begins the process of hiring with an opening in 2020 at the earliest.