Now showing at a theater near you: a new Metro ad to find recruits to work for the transit agency.
Metro is paying $25,000 to show the 30-second video advertisement before blockbusters in area movie theaters this summer.
Under the slogan "jobs/go places," the video says the agency has openings for police officers, safety professionals, information technology professionals, mechanics, technicians, engineers, bus operators and "many more."
It touts competitive pay, great benefits, free Metro trips and job stability, intermixed with video images of workers on the system. A percussive song plays throughout.
It is running in 16 theaters from Bowie to Sterling to Martinsburg, W.Va. It began in late May and will run through Aug. 16, Metro spokeswoman Caroline Lukas said.
"This is all part of our effort to recruit nearly 1,000 new employees this year as we rebuild and expand," she wrote in an email. "The theater ads allow us to reach an audience that might not otherwise consider a career at Metro."
It's the latest tactic the transit agency has tried to bring in more job candidates. It has hosted a job fair for military veterans. It has tried "speed interviewing" modeled off the trendy "speed dating" idea. And it has planned mass testing of prospective bus drivers.
The agency is always hiring because of normal turnover. But the need has become especially urgent now as it plans to add an estimated 877 new positions as part of the new budget that begins July 1.
Metro is gearing up for the start of the Silver Line, now under construction, and it says it must hire and train workers to be ready when trains start running, now scheduled for early 2014. It also plans to hire lots of workers for its ongoing plans to bring the aging 36-year-old rail system back into what it likes to call a "state of good repair."
Earlier this year, the agency said it had a systemwide vacancy rate of 6.6 percent and loses 5 percent from attrition each year. With the new positions, the agency said it was looking to hire 1,800 people in about 18 months.