Lyons Salt Company is looking to McPherson County to fill positions in order to meet increased demand, but may find a tough hiring market.
Icy conditions and a winter that lasted well into May has increased demand for the salt from nearby Rice County mines.
Lyons Salt Company is partnering with Team Employment of McPherson to host a job fair for the company from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday at the Rice County Celebration Center, 1145 E. U.S. Highway 56, Lyons.
The Rice County area has one of the most significant salt deposits in the United States. The Lyons Salt Company mine, which has been in operation since 1917, provides feeder and deicer salt for a large portion of the Midwest from Oklahoma to South Dakota.
Due to a late end to winter this year, many street and highway departments in the region depleted their salt supplies. Ken Grimm, president of the Lyons Salt company, said demand for deicer is usually slow during the summer months, but this summer sales are up dramatically.
His company will produce about 30 percent of its annual sales between now and October filling deicer orders.
The brisk business is good news for salt companies after warm winters the last two years.
The company is looking to fill 25 positions to meet its increased demand. Some of the positions will be temp to hire, and some will be full time. Starting pay is $14 per hour for temp to hire and $17.11 for full-time employees.
The company is looking for workers with heavy equipment experience from the agriculture, construction, or oil and gas industries.
Whether the company will find employees from McPherson is in question. McPherson has a low unemployment rate at this time. The rate for May, which was released on June 20, was 4.3 percent for McPherson County and 4.5 percent for Rice County.
Grimm said he is positive about the company’s hiring prospects.
“We offer good pay rates,” he said. “We have a good culture here at Lyons Salt Company. I feel comfortable we will find the right people.”