It's one of the best-kept secrets in Louisville. Right now, recruiters are in town interviewing candidates for high-paying government jobs. But, local residents aren't exactly beating down the door.

The Residence Inn on Phillips Lane near the fairgrounds is more than 1300 miles from the closest border with Mexico. But this is where agents with the U.S. border patrol are trying to round up recruits. They're especially focusing on minorities, whose numbers are lacking in the patrol.

"You have to be a U.S. citizen. You have to be under the age of 40. You also have to have a valid driver's license. If you've committed any felonies or any domestic charges, that's going to preclude you from going through the process," said Cyril Atherton, U.S. Border Patrol.

"The border patrol has been under a congressional mandate since Sept. 11th to add three thousand agents to its ranks each year, to help protect against terrorism. So far here this week, things have been a little slow. That might change, though, if people knew just how much this job pays," said Atherton.

"They're looking at making 45 to 50,000 their first year. And by the end of their third year, they will obtain the journeyman level, which is 75 to 80,000 a year," said Atherton.

But, agents earn their pay. There are long hours, the danger of potentially dealing with terrorists and drug traffickers. And of course, you do have to be willing to make a bit of a change in scenery.

"The emphasis right now on operations is on our southern border, the Mexican/U.S. border. So, they will go to the state of California, Arizona, New Mexico or Texas," said Atherton.

If you're interested, recruiting continues tomorrow at the Residence Inn from 6 to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 10 to p.m..

You can also contact agent Atherton at 760-457-6051 or check out the agency's website, <http://www.borderpatrol-dot-gov>.

Training lasts four and a half months. but it's only two and a half months if you're fluent in Spanish.