Hundreds of new jobs in Green Country

Tuesday, December 14th 2004, 1:40 pm
By: News On 6

The doors haven't opened yet at the new Wal-Mart distribution center near Ramona in Washington County, but the opportunities are already opening up.

The company started taking job applications for the first time Tuesday. And as News on 6 business reporter Steve Berg explains, they had a lot of takers.

For months, they've watched the giant building being built by US Highway 75 south of Bartlesville. Now people like Susan Dobbs are looking for a chance to get in on the ground floor. "I'm currently employed, but I'm looking for something more substantial."

A steady stream of job-seekers flowed into Wal-Mart's administration building in Bartlesville to apply for work, watch an orientation video and go through security checks. Alex Steiger with Wal-Mart: "So far this morning, we've gotten folks in here from Kansas and Tulsa, Pawhuska and Nowata and all over the Oklahoma region right here."

They started taking applications at 7 AM and by 11 AM, Wal-Mart officials say they had taken more than 200 applications. Over a five-day period, they can only guess how many people will apply at the job fair, but they expect it will be a lot.

They plan to hire 600 people for the distribution center and the area probably needs each and every job. Alex Steiger: "I think right now in Washington County, unemployment is around 6%, so there's obviously some folks out there looking for jobs.”

People like James Canter who was unemployed in Ohio and moved here. "It's tough, there's not a lot of work around this part of the state."

Wal-Mart will have most of the finishing touches done on the building by spring, but the economic impact is just beginning.

The job fair continues for the rest of the week. People with the last name "H" through "N" should apply Wednesday. "O" through "T" is on Thursday and "U" through "Z" is on Friday. All those days are from 7 AM to 6 PM. Saturday is open for everybody from 8 AM to noon.

The job fair is at Wal-Mart's administration building at 3901 Adams Road in Bartlesville.