Kohl's jobs could signify economic change

August 9, 2009 5:35:55 PM PDT
1,000 new jobs are coming to the Bay Area. Six new Kohl's department stores are opening up in the fall and they will need plenty of help. Some say this is another sign the economy is starting to turn around.

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Dean Terry Connelly at the Golden Gate University business school says we were in a free fall but now it appears the parachute has opened. Across the state, Kohl's says 4,200 new retail jobs are up for grabs and that is certainly good news.

The Mervyns store in Colma closed last year. Now, it is being renovated and reborn as a Kohl's store next month, one of six vacant retail spots in the Bay Area enjoying some good news.

"Each store in the Bay Area is going to hire between 120 and 150 employees," said Jason Bittner, Kohl's VP district manager.

1,000 new jobs are up for grabs. Starting Sunday, the unemployed streamed into interview centers throughout the Bay Area with or even without an appointment.

"I called right away and all the job interviews were already taken," said job seeker Sheila Reichmuth. "So, that's what I mean. It's very difficult out there."

Reichmuth lost her real estate job and then her house. The stress led to a separation from her husband. Now, living with a friend, she was thrilled to see job openings like this.

"I'm willing to do anything at this point. I'm looking for employment. I do have a support group. I have a son, and I'm willing to work any hours," she told ABC7.

She filled out a Kohl's application and finally was ushered into a hotel conference room for a group interview.

"Obviously you see how many people are out there. So, we're trying to find the best people to open up our store," said one Kohl's official told applicants.

"These new jobs are replacing jobs previously lost when other retailers went bankrupt. So, it's good to see these jobs being restored and it also helps to create a foundation for consumer confidence as well," said Connelly. "I think Cash for Clunkers has also shown us in the last several weeks that there's real pent up demand in the economy."

Connelly says good news in housing and unemployment last week means we may finally be ending the economic freefall.

"Job recovery starts when consumer confidence builds. And, so the wallets come out and the credit card purchases come out," he said.

Kohl's will be hosting several more job fairs throughout the week.

Kohl's Department Store - 5 day job fair
Monday, August 10 -- 10:45 a.m. - 6:15 p.m.
Tuesday, August 11 -- 12:15 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, August 12 -- 8:45 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Thursday, August 13 -- 12:15 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Sofitel
223 Twin Dolphin Drive
Redwood City
Only those who have scheduled an interview online, or through the Kohl's hiring hotline, 877-639-5645, are guaranteed an interview
www.kohlscareers.com

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