Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Wal-Mart: What's Next? Part One

This is Part One of a series of articles that will explore what happens when a Wal-Mart Supercenter comes to town.

One of the first things that we can expect as construction nears an end is the opening of a Wal-Mart hiring center to process job applicants.

In Avon Park, FL, population 9,056, a new Supercenter is nearing completion. Highlands Today printed this story on June 25:
The temporary Wal-Mart Hiring Center had more than 2,000 jobseekers hoping to fill its 350 open positions in time for the new Supercenter's opening in August, according to one of the new Supercenter's co-managers.

Sherri Smith, who manned five other hiring centers in the Tampa Bay area, said she was "shocked" by the number of jobseekers that applied at the hiring center the past four weeks since it opened.
"It's a lot of paperwork," she said. "For being such a small town, I'm astounded in how many we're getting."
As Jason Furman, a strong supporter of Wal-Mart and Barack Obama's economic advisor wrote, a Harvard applicant has a higher chance of being accepted than a person applying for a job at that Wal-Mart.

So much for Wal-Mart being such a bad place to work.

Tomorrow: Wal-Mart and Neighborhood Businesses

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