AROUND TOWN: Wal-Mart faces tough job market
Wal-Mart is expanding its hiring efforts in Grand Forks ahead of opening its new Gateway Drive store in late March. The big box retailer set up a temporary hiring center last month, and hopes to add 300 people. Most of the new hires will start ea...
Wal-Mart is expanding its hiring efforts in Grand Forks ahead of opening its new Gateway Drive store in late March.
The big box retailer set up a temporary hiring center last month, and hopes to add 300 people. Most of the new hires will start earlier in March to prepare the new store for its opening.
But finding enough workers may prove to be challenging in an area with some of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation. Moreover, there appears to be significant demand for jobs like the ones offered at Wal-Mart.
Tom Fetch, a business services consultant at the local North Dakota Job Service office, said locally, there are nearly 500 job listings with the key phrase “customer service” in the description. There tends to be a lot of those openings, he said, because of lower wages in entry-level positions.
Still, he said, hiring for the second Grand Forks store is moving ahead. Fetch said Wal-Mart has held hiring events and visited with potential employees at the Job Service office.
“They’ve indicated that it’s not going gangbusters,” he said. “But they are hiring people and seem to be making satisfactory progress.”
Pita Pits moving
Two Grand Forks restaurants will become one this spring.
The two Pita Pit locations, on South Washington Street and near the Ralph Engelstad Arena at UND, will close and be replaced by one Pita Pit store on the 3300 block of 32nd Avenue South.
Owner Patrick Streyle said he wanted to consolidate the two stores into one because he lives a couple of hours from Grand Forks and found looking after both to be daunting.
“I’m looking forward to just having one store in Grand Forks,” he said. “It just got to be a tall order.”
Streyle is aiming for a March opening for the new location of the pita sandwich shop.
Building comes down
The former Schumacher Tire Service building at 1923 Gateway Drive in Grand Forks is no more.
Hugo’s Family Marketplace owns the building, which was turned into a pile of rubble this week. The grocery chain purchased the property last year, and company President Kristi Magnuson-Nelson said it has no concrete plan for the lot. The tire store was blocking the view of the grocery store from Gateway and Hugo’s intention was to increase the grocery store’s visibility.
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