When Cris Krisologo, Airport Jobs Manager, joined Port Jobs in 2014, she hit the ground running. The first employer Cris worked with was Haris Svraka, who is currently the Swissport Fueling General Manager. Port Jobs and Swissport have had a great relationship ever since.
Haris credits Port Jobs with helping Swissport meet their goal to hire fifty fuelers within a sixty-day period. Thinking back to 2014, he said, “Cris was amazing. She made it seem so simple. I told her, these are our hiring needs and she said, come back in two weeks. Well – long story short she found fifty qualified applicants and together we met Swissport’s timeline for ramping up our workforce to meet the growing need we had for fuelers.”
The working partnership continues today. Haris said, “I turn to Cris for qualified workers, and we work side by side at hiring events, job fairs and other activities.” Cris and Haris are a formidable and productive team. Since 2015, Port Jobs job placement data shows that 209 fuelers have been hired by Swissport.
Haris said the relationship Swissport has with Port Jobs continues to be strong. He explained, “Swissport has the majority of fueling contracts at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA). Please tell everyone! We have a lot of job openings and are on a hiring and growth cycle now since passenger traffic is up at the airport. And we are a great place to work.” He added that jobs at Swissport offer a good starting wage, and frequent promotions. He said, “Starting wages for fuelers are now $19.50 an hour and we are offering hiring bonuses of $1,500 and a wage increase after six months. Fuelers become part of the Teamster’s Local Union No. 174 which is another plus.”
He also reported that Swissport offers a welcoming, family environment for employees. Haris added, “I do everything I can to support the career goals and aspirations of workers, and regularly share flyers about the Airport University classes that Port Jobs offers. Four of our employees are in their ten-week Introduction to Aviation Maintenance Technology (AMT) class right now. After they graduate, they will have an opportunity to enroll in the two-year AMT class at South Seattle College.”
Haris knows this could mean that good employees at his company might move on to different careers, and he supports their efforts to advance. He even made it possible for one of his employees to take the AMT class by switching their work hours to accommodate the class schedule.
Haris said he offered to connect the Swissport AMT students to his broad network of SEA colleagues in the future when they are ready to make this career transition. He added, “Swissport is a large international company. After AMT school there is an opportunity to be placed in one of Swissport Aircraft Maintenance locations as a mechanic.” He reported that some employees stay working at Swissport while they attend school. Two recent employees include a fueler who graduated from law school, and a fueler who became a police officer.
Haris is an inspiration. He has come a long way since his arrival in 1999 from Bosnia, which he described was a war-torn country. He has seen firsthand the power of hard work and persistence. He worked briefly at Swissport in 2000, and steadily there since 2004. His own career trajectory at the airport included progressing from a ramp agent to a fueler, lead, supervisor, manager, operations manager, and assistant manager to his current role as Fueler General Manager. Haris said, “Swissport has many opportunities to get wage increases and job promotions. Many of our employees get promoted.”
Haris described the Swissport/Port Jobs working relationship as a perfect example of an upskill/backfill partnership. He said, “Port Jobs is a resource for us to backfill positions, and to upskill workers. We also refer jobseekers to Port Jobs if we don’t have job openings that meet their interests and skills.”
Cris and Haris act as a dynamic team.
Haris said, “We support Port Jobs, and Port Jobs supports Swissport.” Cris concurred, adding, “Haris is a wonderful employer partner who truly cares about his company and his team of workers.”