Grocery store chain plans to hire hundreds in Houston

May 30, 2012 5:35:37 PM PDT
A new grocery chain expanding into the Houston market is holding job fairs in the area. Hundreds of people turned out for a chance to work at the discount grocer Aldi's.

The discount grocery chain will open 30 stores in the next three years in Houston, and the first thing they plan to do is hire managers.

James Collins has been looking for work for about six months. On Wednesday he turned in an application to Aldi's and has gotten a call back.

"I am always looking for a new, bigger opportunity, so the money was one of the things that enticed me to come," he said. "The opportunity with a new grocery chain, my background is retail."

The Aldi jobs being offered right now in Houston come with a potential salary of more than $60,000 a year. Collins says he's had several job interviews, but the problem with those positions came down to pay.

Collins explained, "Most people that work in management, in my past experience, want to start you out at mid-grade and see what you bring to the company."

No surprise, then, that hundreds of job seekers turned out for a chance to land one of those positions.

"We are really excited about the turnout," said Chris Daniels, Aldi's Director of Operations. "We are going to see a couple of hundred folks today and hopefully get some good candidates here."

Daniels says this hiring fair is just the beginning for the company in Houston.

"This is our first process here," he said. "This is our first hiring event in the Houston market and we are planning on doing four or five more before the end of the year."

The overall job outlook for Houston is looking up. The area added 81,000 jobs between March and April. The unemployment rate in Houston is 6.5 percent, down from close to 8 percent a year ago.

Mark Salazar has been looking for the right kind of opportunity for a year and says finding the perfect position is not easy, but overall things seem to be getting better in the area.

"It is really hard, but if you look around you will find something," he said.

Aldi's plans to open 30 stores over the next three years and bring about 400 jobs to the area. The first stores will be opened by the spring of next year.

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