Clinton company hires an extra 1,700 contractors

Lyondellbasell hired an extra 1,700 contractors to work at their chemical plant in Clinton until mid-September.

CLINTON, Iowa. (KWQC) - LyondellBasell hires an extra 1700 people every six years, so the community has been getting used to and gets excited about this economic boom. Nearly 2,000 extra people are living in and working in Clinton for the next few weeks.

LyondellBasell usually operates with just over 400 employees, but for the next few weeks, it has over 2,000.

Jeff Saionz, Lyondellbasell's turnaround manager said, "We utilize the entire plant workforce in different jobs to make repairs. We're not enough of us to do the job required, so we have to bring in a lot of contractor help. We try to employ as many locals as we can that we know can do this type of work."

Every six years, Lyondell does a "turnaround" where they shut down their chemical plant to make sure their equipment is still up to date and running. "In this industry, we try to run around the clock so it's a 24-hour operation. So we're not able to make repairs routinely" Saionz explained.

He says it makes a big difference for their company and more: "it's huge for the community here. The community looks forward to it actually. The businesses know we do this on a regular cycle so if you think of all those people here in an area - every campsite, hotel room, short term apartment. Anything within a 50-mile radius is pretty much booked solid."

Saionz said this isn't a coincidence, "we make an effort to look for positive ways to help and involve the community. when possible we try to look for and supply those kinds of things."

They do this by making sure they go local when catering to food, fuel, and extra supplies. Local businesses say it's noticeable, "I think it's great for the community. I know it's made us happy at Stout's and I can't imagine any other business thinking any other way" said Jen Castro, an employee at Stout's Irish pub & grill.

She said she recognizes some of the same contractors coming back every few years. "We really appreciate the business and support. We look forward to them in the next 6 years!"

Lyondell even contracts local law enforcement to help them direct traffic during shift changes because of how many extra people are at the plant!

About half of these extra contractors are local to the Quad Cities and the surrounding area. They'll be in Clinton at least until mid-September.