2,800 compete for 350 positions at new Wal-Mart

By Linda Linonis

Job applications for the Liberty store will be taken until July 13 at the Covelli Centre and online.

LIBERTY — Thomas Urena, manager of the new Wal-Mart on Belmont Avenue, said some 2,800 people have applied so far for 325 to 350 full- and part-time jobs at the retailer.

The retailer began taking applications this week.

Applications will be accepted through July 13 at the Covelli Centre, formerly the Chevrolet Centre, on Front Street in Youngstown. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.

“It’s a slow process,” said Urena of the online application, which takes about 45 minutes. He said about five minutes is devoted to talking to each applicant.

Applicants also may access the applications on their home computers, at libraries and at other Wal-Mart stores at www.WalMartstores.com and go to the career section.

Urena declined to offer how much the jobs pay, but said the pay rate varies by position and experience. He said the interviewing process is going “full force” and the company will begin to hire soon.

He said some of the applicants he has spoken to are displaced workers. Others are looking for a second income for their families, and still others are seeking part-time employment to supplement their income. Urena said so far, one applicant, who had 25 years of retail store experience, stands out.

“She was told her position was being eliminated and was let go after all that time,” Urena said.

He said the store will begin receiving merchandise July 13. “We’re looking at the end of August,” Urena said of the opening.

Urena has been with Wal-Mart for 25 years. He most recently was the manager of a Wal-Mart on state Route 62 in Canton.

Pat Ungaro, administrator in Liberty Township, said township trustees and others had a chance to meet with Urena this week. “We’re excited about it,” Ungaro said. “I believe it will help stabilize businesses because of the traffic count.”

He said businesses were lost over the last 10 years. He said he viewed Wal-Mart’s presence as “overwhelming positive” and a place that will keep businesses competitive.

Ungaro also said this Wal-Mart is a “green” store, and its facade is a combination of brown tones.

Urena said the Belmont Wal-Mart is one of four test or prototype stores that are 30 percent more energy efficient than previously built stores. Citing one example, he said the store will use low-voltage, incandescent lighting, skylights and an automatic lighting system. Overall, he said, the heating and cooling systems will be more efficient.


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