Wal-Mart is renewing its efforts to attract new employees for its new distribution center

Thursday, January 20th 2005, 9:43 am
By: News On 6

Time is winding down to the opening of the new Wal-Mart distribution center near Ramona in Washington County.

News on 6 anchor Craig Day says the company wants more applicants to fill hundreds of new jobs.

By the time shipping starts at the new Wal-Mart distribution center May 16th, 650 people will be employed at the facility. Terry Walker of Skiatook is one of them. He took a job working maintenance at the facility after being laid off from Boeing. "The two years I was laid off, I applied all over. Had my resumes everywhere. There was just nothing out there."

Walker is one of 266 people who have already accepted jobs at the Ochelata distribution center. Wal-Mart is taking applications for the remaining 400 jobs to be filled. 3,600 people have already applied. With the large number of applications, you would think that would be plenty to fill all of the available positions.

But Wal-Mart says it needs to expand its applicant pool. General Manager Leon Holbrook says Wal-Mart likes to have at least a dozen applicants for each new position filled. “Unfortunately a lot of folks when they find out what the environment is and what we're doing, warehouse work is not for everyone. So it takes that many applications."

The starting wage for the new jobs is $11 an hour, $14 for maintenance workers. Employees also get $3 an hour in incentives in 36 months. Benefits include 401k, profit sharing, and a 10% discount on Wal-Mart purchases. Terry Walker: "The pay is good. And the benefits, the benefits are just fantastic."

Wal-Mart hopes to get 6,000 additional applicants before the facility opens. Anyone wanting to apply for one of the jobs can go to any Oklahoma Workforce Employment Center.

Wal-Mart will have job fairs in Pawhuska February 5th and in Tulsa February 12th.