Koch Industries and 10 of its business units are hiring or planning to hire more than 300 workers in Wichita.
That’s according to Koch officials, who said this week that most of the jobs are professional — information technology, accounting and analysis, and engineering — and are new positions, not vacant ones.
“Most of the job openings are due to growth as opposed to replacement,” said Jeff Morris, director of talent development for Koch Industries.
“There’s many factors but I believe the preponderance of it comes from our commercial growth” among a majority of Koch’s businesses in Wichita, he said.
Those businesses are: Koch Chemical Technology Group, Flint Hills Resources, Invista, Koch Industries, Koch Carbon, Koch Fertilizer, Koch Minerals, Koch Pipeline Co., Koch Supply and Trading, Matador Cattle Co. and the C. Reiss Coal Co.
The Koch businesses experiencing growth include Flint Hills Resources, which has been expanding its renewable fuels operations the past couple of years. That includes an equity investment earlier this year in Benefuel, and an acquisition last year of ethanol plants in Iowa.
Other examples of commercial growth are Koch Fertilizer, which Morris said has “enhanced” its production internationally, and Koch Pipeline, which has been expanding its transportation capabilities.
Koch and its subsidiaries have increased Wichita employment from 2,200 a few years ago to 2,555 employees this year.
“We just completed our most active college recruiting season in the last several years,” he said. Next summer, Morris said, the company will bring in more than 100 interns and co-op students, compared to 79 this past summer and 65 the year before that.
He’s not worried about the company being able to fill those 300-plus positions in Wichita – it’s looking to fill 2,500 nationally – but filling them doesn’t happen overnight.
“It’s a good problem to have,” he said of the increase in hiring. “You’d like to be able to fill positions as quickly as you can. But we are selective and find the best we can hire. It’s not necessarily a quick catch-up.”
Morris said details of current openings are available at the company’s recruiting website: www.kochcareers.com.