By the end of the year, the Washington State Patrol could need more than 200 new troopers because many are closing in on their retirement.
So the agency is turning to community job fairs as one way to recruit new troopers, as well as other employees.
A job fair Wednesday in Shelton was aimed at helping some 500 mill workers about to lose their jobs in that community.
Trooper Katie Colello is in charge of recruitment efforts in the Olympic Peninsula. She is hoping those mill workers think about becoming state troopers.
"Sometimes, you know, this may be a good fit for people who might not necessarily think this would be in their wheelhouse,” Colello said. “In the past, troopers were 6-foot tall and 200 plus pounds. Nowadays we realize that it takes all kinds of people to be troopers."
Colello said she spent five years working in a company's finance department before she decided to become a trooper.
The agency has openings in other departments as well. Details are on WSP's website.