Retail jobs opening up on the Suncoast

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Posted: Friday, July 25, 2014 10:05 am

SARASOTA, Fla. -- More job opportunities are coming to the Suncoast. With a new Walmart Neighborhood Market is under construction at the intersection of Bee Ridge and Beneva roads, the store is already looking to fill nearly 100 positions.

But are these jobs, along with an estimated 2,000 jobs at the upcoming Mall at University Town Center, paying enough to supplement the cost of living on the Suncoast?

Walmart’s temporary hiring center opened Monday on Clark Road, and the turnout is already surpassing expectations. Staff is interviewing 15 applicants a day on average.

Job seekers are hopeful with an opportunity for a face-to-face interview. "When you do things online and you don't get to talk to somebody, that kind of just discourages you a lot. So I think this is very nice to have a welcome center like this before the store does actually open," says applicant Jan Phillips.

The new store is looking to hire up to 95 part-time and full-time employees, offering benefits to both.

That’s something CareerSource Suncoast is seeing more of from employers. "They tend to be lower wages. However, some of the larger companies such as a Walmart offers opportunities for growth and advancement," says Sally Hill.

"That is fantastic. Yes, that is very nice because a lot of times they just offer full-time benefits, and for the part time that would be sensational," says Phillips.

Meanwhile, across town, the new Mall at University Town Center is bringing in more than 2,000 jobs. Though many are part-time positions and may not be enough to supplement the cost of living on the Suncoast.

"It is difficult out there. We recognize that, and some people are having to work two jobs, but if you work hard and you have the right attitude employers appreciate that and they take note of that," says Hill.

Walmart management says the potential to move up in the company is strong; many current managers started out as hourly employees.

The Walmart hiring center will be open to applicants Monday through Friday until they open the new store in the fall.

The new mall is scheduled to open in October.

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