Area Wide Protective in Butler County provides traffic control and flagging, consulting, equipment rental and sales, event services, safety and training and temporary traffic control design.
AWP, which services the eastern third of the United States, employs approximately 35 people at its facility at 9500 Le Saint Drive in Fairfield. It plans to hire between 40 and 60 new employees for traffic control specialist positions, according to Bill Gordon, AWP’s contract recruiter.
We spoke to Gordon about the challenges the company is facing and its plan for the next five years. Here’s what he had to say.
Q: What’s the biggest challenge facing the company and others in the industry and how is the company uniquely positioned to address that challenge?
A: “The greatest challenge in the company is retention. To remedy this issue, AWP is offering a stronger compensation package along with quarterly safety bonus programs; 401-K retirement plans, health benefits, five paid holidays; employee referral bonus; discounts to AT&T, Verizon and GMC products; upward mobility to project management positions as well as facility managers. The majority of employees leave AWP usually is around the 6-month mark due to compensation issues or claims that there are not enough hours when there is plenty of projects to fulfill a strong paycheck. AWP encourages employees growth and establishes incentives for upward mobility.”
Q: What’s the most prevalent roadblock you encounter when it comes to hiring and what can job seekers do to remedy that situation?
A: “Finding candidates with a valid driver’s license and the ability to pass a drug test. Finding candidates whom have a valid driver’s license and have failed their drug screen occurs about 20 percent of the time. Candidates can obtain a valid driver’s license or become reinstated at a later date are encouraged to complete this process, prior to applying online.”
Q: Some job seekers are concerned about the limits of advancement within a company. To what degree can your employees advance from entry-level roles to be promoted to greater positions within the company?
A: “Employees start at $11 per hour and can quickly work their way open to $15 per hour within the first year of employment via lead driver; senior traffic control specialist and project lead. AWP can reduce the attrition percentage with upward mobility by making new positions available for employees on the company website specific for the market they reside in. The greater volume of promotions lead to reduced turnover in any organization.”
Q. What’s the vision for the company’s growth, both jobs and otherwise, for the next five years?
A: “Increasing our contract volume within the road construction; utility and telecommunication industries. This sustained growth within road construction, utilities and telecommunications is the company’s foundation to remain as the nation’s largest traffic control organization. Increasing AWP’s market share is paramount for future success as strong business relationships with our clients will continue.”