At job fairs, Unistress looks to hire dozens of workers


PITTSFIELD -- Unistress Corp. doesn't typically hold job fairs, but one of the county's leading contractors has a reason to do so this time.

"We have such a large amount of people to hire," Unistress President Perri Petricca said.

Unistress is holding three jobs fairs over the next two weeks to hire 100 employees for its $70 million new Tappan Zee Bridge project in New York State.

Those events are scheduled to take place at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, June 23; 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 26; and 2 p.m. on Tuesday, July 2, at Unistress headquarters at 550 Cheshire Road.

"We normally aren't hiring 100 people" at once, Petricca said.

Senior managers and union officials will provide job information. Interviews will be conducted following the presentations. Applicants are asked to wear casual attire.

Those planning to attend any of the three job fairs are required to register by filling out an online employment application at

People unable to attend any of the three job fairs can visit Unistress' career center from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. The career center is also located at 550 Cheshire Road.

Interest in the project has been so high since Unistress announced it had been awarded the contract last week that the company has already hired 22 new employees, Petricca said.

"The interest has just been incredible," he said. "There are so many talented people out there looking for work."

Not all of those 22 just-hired employees were brought on solely to work on the new bridge project.

"We have some growth here," Petricca said. "Because of that growth, we can't just bring in 100 people on Day One and train them. We'll bring in some people ahead of time, and some may go over to the bridge site."

Unistress was awarded the $70 million contract -- the largest in the company's 46 year history -- to provide precast concrete deck panels for the new Tappan Zee Bridge in New York.

Plans call for Unistress to manufacture 6,000 precast concrete panels that will serve as the roadbed for the 3.1-mile span that connects New York's Westchester and Rockland counties by crossing the Hudson River at one of its widest points.

Marine work for the new bridge began in 2013, and the entire project isn't expected to be completed until 2018.

Unistress will begin manufacturing material for the new bridge in late July. Shipping the concrete panels by truck to New York won't begin until the spring of 2015, Petricca said.

Transporting the completed panels will take place "periodically," Petricca said, and will occur during the early morning hours, probably around 6 and 7 a.m. three times a day. Unistress will transport the concrete panels by truck to the Port of Coeymans Marine Terminal on the Hudson River, where they will be shipped by barge to the Tappan Zee, which is just south of the city of Newburgh.

The Port of Coeymans is 10 miles south of Albany, N.Y., and four miles from Exit 22 of the New York State Thruway. Petricca said the concrete panels will be shipped via Interstate 90 to Albany, but the route will bypass Exit 2 of the Massachusetts Turnpike in Lee. Instead, Petricca said the trucks will enter New York state from Pittsfield on Route 295 and pick up I-90 on the Berkshire Spur at Exit B3.

The huge trucks that Unistress used to transport concrete products to Boston for use in the Big Dig project won't be as prevalent this time, because the material slated for the Tappan Zee Bridge is much smaller.

"These pieces aren't that big," Petricca said.

Now hiring

Unistress Corp. in Pittsfield is planning to hire some 100 employees for its new $70 million bridge project in New York State. Here are the positions Unistress has available and is looking to hire. They are listed in random order:

1. Equipment operators

2. Quality control technicians

3. Mechanics

4. Yarding and logistics

5. Maintenance

6. Laborers

7. Batch plant operators/drivers

8. Carpenters

9. Rebar fabricators

10. Welders

11. Machine operators

Source: Unistress Corp.

To reach Tony Dobrowolski:,
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On Twitter: @TonyDobrow


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