Wal-Mart seeks nearly 400 local workers

Retail giant plans to hire 380 full- and part-time employees for pair of new Clark County locations

By Cami Joner, Columbian retail & real estate reporter



Wal-Mart jobs

• Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has opened job application centers near its future Battle Ground Supercenter and Vancouver Neighborhood Market stores to fill approximately 380 full- and part-time positions in all areas of the stores.

• The hiring center at 5201 E. Fourth Plain Blvd., Vancouver, is accepting applications from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday. The hiring center at 1808 S.W. Ninth Ave., Battle Ground, is accepting applications from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

• Interested applicants also can apply online: Wal-Mart careers.

• Wal-Mart expects late-spring openings for the stores, located at East Fourth Plain and Grand boulevards in Vancouver and at 1201 S.W. 13th Ave., Battle Ground.

• Eligible employees will receive health care insurance and other benefits, according to a press release issued by Wal-Mart.

Clark County job seekers can now go to work for Wal-Mart, which has about 380 full- and part-time jobs up for grabs at two stores set to open this spring.

The Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer has opened two hiring centers in the vicinity of the new store sites, although not at the actual stores. Construction crews are busy these days making sure the stores -- a Battle Ground Supercenter and a grocery-only Neighborhood Market at Fourth Plain and Grand boulevards in Vancouver -- are ready to open by late spring.

"Right now, we're basically taking applications," said Jeremy Huckleberry, store manager of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s second Vancouver Neighborhood Market on Fourth Plain. He expects to spend the next several weeks working at the hiring center at 5201 E. Fourth Plain Blvd., about a mile and a half east of the store's location. The centers are equipped with several computer kiosks where prospective employees can complete the company's online application.

Huckleberry said he and other representatives will be on hand to chat with applicants and answer questions about the hiring process. Store officials are looking for about 80 people to work at the store, which will carry fresh and packaged groceries and sundries and include an in-store pharmacy.

"It will be a mix of full- and part-time positions," Huckleberry said.

Battle Ground store manager Katie Zadak also will be available at her store's hiring center at 1808 S.W. Ninth Ave., Suite 101, about a half-mile south of the Battle Ground Supercenter. That store will open with about 300 full- and part-time employees.

Department managers and office staff will be among the first to be hired, Huckleberry said.

"We'll need everyone from cashiers to stockers, fresh-

area (produce) workers and accountants," he said. The 42,000-square-foot grocery store is slated to operate 24 hours a day when it opens on a site formerly occupied by Fred Meyer.

Huckleberry encourages walk-in applicants to bring along a résumé, either in hard copy or online form. He also advises applicants to check and double-check their online applications before they submit the forms.

"If you don't fill it out correctly, it can get overlooked," Huckleberry said. He added that the most common mistakes applicants make are failing to put down a phone number and leaving their work history blank.

He said veterans also need documentation of their service to qualify for Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s program that offers jobs to any veteran who has been honorably discharged within the last 12 months.

"They'll need the documents," said Huckleberry, 37.

The Vancouver store manager counts himself among thousands of workers who've found long-term opportunities at Wal-Mart. He was hired 10 years ago as a tire installer at the Wal-Mart store off Southeast Mill Plain Boulevard and Interstate 205.

"I worked my way up," he said. "I was rewarded for working hard."

Huckleberry is looking for employees with a similar work ethic.

"And we want somebody with a great attitude," he said. "All we're asking for is people to be upbeat and take care of our customers."

Wal-Mart says all jobs at the stores will pay above minimum wage.

The company hopes to have most of its employees in place when the Vancouver store's associate training begins in March. The Battle Ground store's training will start in April.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. operates four stores in Vancouver: 221 N.E. 104th Ave.; 9000 N.E. Highway 99 and 430 S.E. 192nd Ave. The company opened its first grocery-only Neighborhood Market in July at 7809 N.E. Vancouver Plaza Drive.

Editor's note: A portion of this story has been changed to reflect a correction. Wal-Mart says all jobs at the stores will pay above minimum wage.

Walmart hiring employees for new stores