Job seekers, take heart.
The new Kenai Home Depot is seeking workers to fill the 130 or so positions that will be needed when the doors open for the first time this winter.
The store's grand opening is set for Dec. 18, and store manager Terry Rahlfs said the new home improvement retail center is working to be fully staffed by then.
"That's a hard and fast date," he said.
Rahlfs and the store's operations manager and acting human resources manager, Holly Palmer, have set up shop in a trailer at the Kenai Spur Highway site in front of what will be the Home Depot.
And they are taking applications.
"We're looking for sales associates in just about every department, both full- and part-time, cashiers, freight team and receiving," Palmer said. "We're primarily looking for people with expertise and retail sales backgrounds."
That expertise she referred to applies to skilled workers like plumbers, electricians and mill work specialists.
"Those are examples," she said.
Rahlfs described the ideal employees as friendly, outgoing, energetic and enthusiastic.
"We're looking for people who are do-it-yourselfers," he said. "We're here to help people solve their problems and to help them with their home improvement projects."
Rahlfs said there are some internal candidates, both in-state and Outside, who are being considered, but said more than 90 percent of the positions would be people who, like himself, are from the Kenai Peninsula.
Formerly the store director for Fred Meyer in Soldotna for four years, Rahlfs said his background in the Kenai-Soldotna area and his knowledge of Alaska's logistics and seasonality with regard to retail helped him land the top position at the new store.
"I'm very excited about being able to open a brand new store and to get back to what I consider my retail roots the hard line area," he said. "Home improvement is what I had done for 10 years with Fred Meyer before I became store director."
Palmer and Rahlfs already are doing interviews and making hiring decisions, and Rahlfs said they will be hiring over the next four weeks. He said the first wave of employees will start working in the store Oct. 20.
"That doesn't mean we will stop hiring," he added. "We'll start gradually adding more (positions)."
Rahlfs said both full- and part-time employees will be eligible for company benefits, and hires can expect between three and 10 weeks of training, depending on the position and their experience.
When the store opens, winter hours will be from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., on Sundays. Summer hours aren't available yet.
The Home Depot hiring trailer will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon.
For more information, call 283-2706.
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