Bechtel increases hiring in preparation for chemical agent destruction

Bechtel, the contractor in charge of the destruction of chemical munitions at the Pueblo Chemical Depot in Pueblo, Colorado, is hiring hundreds of employees in preparation for the destruction of chemical agent stockpiles.

Sandy Romero, an official with the Pueblo chemical stockpile outreach office, said on Wednesday that hundreds of jobs would come to Pueblo this year. Approximately 300 to 400 employees will be hired to work at the Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant, the Pueblo Chieftain reports.

Romero made the announcement after a meeting of the Citizens Advisory Commission for the Pueblo Chemical Depot on Wednesday night.

"2013 is big for hiring because we're gonna need people to operate the plant," Romero said, according to the Pueblo Chieftain. "We're gonna need start-up specialists and munition handlers, laboratory personnel. People are gonna make sure that the facility is running properly."

The facility will train employees on how to destroy 2,611 tons of mustard agent stored in mortar rounds and projectiles at the depot.

The plant is nearly complete and systemization is underway to ensure that all equipment and systems work as designed. The Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant is expected to be operational by 2015. After the plant becomes operational, it is expected to take approximately three years to destroy the munitions.

During peak operation, the facility will employ between 1,200 and 1,300 people, the Pueblo Chieftain reports.