Now Hiring: Kohl's to open East Bay store

February 10, 2009 11:41:12 AM PST
About 45,000 retail jobs were cut in Janauary according to the Labor Department. Replacing a retail job is about as hard as it gets in this economy-- there's just not much out there.

Dozens of applicants made their way to Kohl's department store in Alameda trying to land a job -- one of 150 positions available beginning in April.

Donald Figari of Alameda was a supervisor at a warehouse. He was laid off two months ago.

"I'm hoping this will get me back on my feet, get me back into the workforce and feeling better about myself, really," said Figari.

People lined up to make an appointment. Applications are then filled out before the interview process begins.

A few with existing jobs were trying to make career moves.

"What I really want to do is learn the business world from every angle," said Alameda resident Pablo Vega.

But most are victims of the economy like Tina Avery who lost her job at Nordstrom.

According to the Labor Department, of the 3.6 million jobs lost in the U.S. during 2008, 525,000 or 15 percent were from the retail sector.

"The economy is hard. I'm a single mother so it would be nice to get back into the work field," said Oakland resident Janae Mason.

For some if hired, it would be the start of a new career.

"For the better part of 19 years I was a sports reporter for the Bay Area News group East Bay and all its predecessor companies," said San Leandro resident Michael McGreehan.

"Did you get laid off?" asked ABC7's Lyanne Melendez.

"Yeah, I got laid off, it was in July of last year," said

"I just hope the pay is right. A lot of times you get these jobs, they work you like a dog and for a little of nothing but if you isn't got nothing, a little bit of something is better than nothing," said Oakland resident Henry Drawson.