Amid government shutdown, TSA holding hiring event for MSP airport

While Transportation Security Administriation workers nationwide are working without pay due to the government shutdown, the TSA is looking to add more transportation security officers to their ranks at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. 

The TSA will be holding a "fast track" hiring event this weekend, however, TSA officials say the event was previously planned and is not in response to the shutdown.

Minnesota's TSA Federal Security Director Cliff Van Leuven told FOX 9 the job event was scheduled in order to stay ahead of the busy spring and summer travel seasons. The TSA is looking to fill about 30 to 40 positions, a mixture of full-time and part-time.

However, TSA officials admit the shutdown complicates the situation.

"We acknowledge the stress that the partial government shutdown places on our current officers and their families and are extremely grateful for their commitment," said Bessy Guevara of the TSA media team. "All screeners who are working will receive their pay once appropriations have resumed."

The hiring event will be Saturday at 8 a.m. at the TSA administrative offices at 2001 Killebrew Drive, suite 400 in Bloomington. It's called a "fast track" event because applicants will be able to work directly with a TSA official through the hiring process instead of just applying online. After an informational session, those interested will complete an interview, an aptitude test and schedule for a drug screening and medical exam.

According to a statement, on Tuesday, the TSA saw a nationwide rate of 6.1 percent of unscheduled absences, compared to a 3.7 percent rate on the same day a year ago.

Van Leuven says only one agent at MSP has quit due to the shutdown. Despite not being paid, he says most TSA workers at MSP are coming in for their shifts. Tuesday at MSP the maximum wait was 17 minutes in standard security lines and three minutes in TSA precheck lines, which are both well within the normal wait times.