Usted Habla Espanol?

And English, too?

Then Verizon Wireless is looking for you.

The New Jersey-based telecommunications company hopes to fill a good chunk of the 200 jobs it has open in the Washington-Baltimore area with bilingual speakers who can serve its growing base of Spanish-speaking customers.

The company will hold a job fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at 7600 Montpelier Rd. in Laurel; the fair is the first to take place at that office.

Although Verizon won't turn away non-Spanish speakers, "we would like our focus to be on bilingual candidates at this juncture," said Ione Davis, the company's associate director for human resources. "To have that skill set would be a huge plus for us."

The new recruits will augment a small team of employees that works primarily with Spanish-speaking customers, Davis said.

The company is seeking workers for its call center in Maryland, salesmen for Verizon stores and account managers who work with corporations as well as retailers that carry Verizon products.

Verizon Wireless, which serves 45.5 million customers nationwide, added a record 1.6 million net new customers to its ranks in the first quarter. It did not disclose how many speak Spanish.

Real Estate Deals

Rhee Bros. Inc., an importer of Oriental food, has leased 42,100 square feet of warehouse space at 6940-A San Tomas Rd. in Elkridge.

Hayes Merkert of Manekin LLC represented the landlord while Scott Skogmo of TSC represented the tenant.

Rhee Bros., founded in 1976, imports 10,000 types of items from Asia and distributes them to more than 1,500 retailers and wholesalers around the world.

A Flying Tribute to Md.

Southwest's newest addition to its fleet of Boeing 737s is the Maryland One, with a rendering of the state flag painted across its fuselage.

"It's a way for us to honor our relationship with the state of Maryland," said Linda Rutherford, a Southwest spokeswoman. "We wanted to say thank you to the residents of the state for helping make us who we are."

But the Maryland One is not the only specialty aircraft Southwest operates.

The jet is part of a series that commemorates special partnerships or milestones for the airline.

Other states with themed planes include Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas.

Three Shamu jets recognize the airline's marketing partnerships with the SeaWorld adventure parks. Two Silver One airplanes mark the company's 25th anniversary. And the Triple Crown One recognizes the airline's top ratings by the Department of Transportation for on-time performance, best baggage handling and fewest customer complaints.

The debut of the Maryland One comes a few weeks after BWI opened a wing dedicated exclusively to Southwest, which began service at BWI in 1983 with eight daily flights.

The airline has since transformed BWI into a transportation hub best known for its lower-cost airlines.

Today, Southwest has 164 daily nonstop flights out of BWI.


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