Local businesses step up holiday hiring

2013-12-01T06:00:00Z 2014-01-16T15:53:36Z Local businesses step up holiday hiringDiane Poulton Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
December 01, 2013 6:00 am  • 

'Tis the season to be working …

Griffith resident Stephanie Nagy Shelbourne had her orientation training at Kohl’s on Tuesday.

Shelbourne was hired as a bagger to work on Black Friday and during other big sale days during the holidays.

“I wanted a little extra cash for the holidays and an employee discount,” Shelbourne said. “Plus I don't like shopping on that day, so I thought it would be interesting to work it. I worked the holidays years ago at Target in Highland and loved it. I am hoping they offer me a position for one day a week after Christmas.”

Shelbourne is just one of many local residents seeking temporary holiday employment to help pay for gifts, household expenses and college costs or who hope the jobs turn into permanent employment.

October U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics indicate retail trade added 44,000 jobs as stores prepare for the holiday season. The report indicated job growth was widespread with electronics and appliance stores, building material and garden supply stores, food and beverage stores, sporting goods and hobby stores, and general merchandise stores contributing to the gain.

Meijer spokesman Frank Guglielmi said the company began a major hiring initiative back in August in response to company growth and to prepare for the approaching holiday season. It included 1,800 jobs in Indiana, about 50 to 75 per store, Guglielmi said. Meijer opened six new stores this year including one in Portage in June. Meijer stores are open 24 hours and only closed on Christmas.

“While our stores in Northwest Indiana filled many of the positions, there are still some jobs available,” Guglielmi said. “Those interested should complete an application online at www.jobs.meijer.com or go to the store and complete an application at the employment kiosks located inside the stores.

“We are hoping for a very good holiday season,” Guglierlmi said.

Debbie Kelleher, who owns the St. John Quiznos franchise with her husband Steve, said business gets brisk during the holidays as people are busy with holiday shopping and other chores and don’t have time to cook at home. Their restaurant is the only Quiznos in Lake County, Kelleher said.

Kelleher said Quiznos is hiring holiday help, which she hopes will lead to permanent employment at the restaurant.

“Although it’s not just for the holidays, we are having the hardest time finding people who want a job and to work for their paycheck,” Kelleher said. “I've put out posts thinking if we hired college students or moms perhaps we would have a better situation.”

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