By Katie Steiner

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — On Saturday, during the partial government shutdown, the Transportation Security Association had a “Fast Track Hiring Event.”

The TSA is looking to hire at least 40 people and had this hiring event planned for months before the shutdown.

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The turnout was more than the TSA expected. By noon, 320 people had come to the hiring event to apply for a job with the agency. And because of that, the wait times were long.

“It’s been kind of an all-day thing,” Frank Lopez said.

(credit: CBS)

Lopez retired from work as a corrections officer at Stillwater prison and was looking to stay busy with another job. He isn’t worried about how the government shutdown will affect this potential new job.

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“Not at this time, I think that they will resolve it. I think it will just be a little bit,” Lopez said.

Another applicant, Brittany Luck, said she is worried about the shutdown. She was here applying and looking for more information.

“That’s exactly why this isn’t a for sure thing. It’s a let me find some more information about it, see how it sounds, see how I feel, before confirming just because no one knows,” Luck said. “There’s no answers for anything, there’s no timeline, it’s insane to me.”

David McMahon, Minnesota’s TSA deputy federal security director, told WCCO-TV he met with all of the people who were applying and talked about the shutdown.

“We are telling them this government shutdown will end eventually. I don’t control that. But by the time they go through the entire process to get hired, it’s going to be no less than 45 days. They are joining an organization that provides excellent benefits, takes care of family, the pay we have finally gotten to a point where it’s a little bit more sustainable within our market area here,” McMahon said.

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Starting pay as a TSA officer is just more than $18 an hour.

Katie Steiner