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Hundreds seek jobs at Target

By Evan Belanger 340-2442

Temporary signs Thursday on Central Parkway Southwest read, "See a world of opportunity."

And that's exactly what hundreds of local residents attempted when they turned out for the second and largest job fair to staff Decatur's new Target store.

Held at the Community Action Partnership and the Encore Fitness building, the three-day hiring spree was set to kick off at 9 a.m. Thursday. But more than 100 people were waiting in line at 7:30 a.m., and company officials opened the doors early.

Hundreds more than needed showed up.

"That's a big talent pool to draw from," said John Randolph, manager of the Decatur store. "I don't think we're going to have any trouble staffing this store."

According to Randolph, 181 will be hired during this week's job fair. Available positions include cashier, stock person, salesperson and food-preparation associate.

The hiring fair will continue today from noon to 6 p.m. at the same location, 1909 Central Parkway S.W., and will resume Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon.

According to Huntsville store manager Hugh Davis, Thursday's turnout was typical for a store opening in a new market like Decatur.

"There's a lot of people who want to work for us because this is a great company to work for," Davis said between interviews of potential employees.

Those applying for the jobs Thursday said they were hoping for higher wages or better working conditions than those offered at their current jobs. Others said they were simply looking for a fresh start.

They included locals like Taren Ivey of Hartselle, who said she is hoping to land a position as a head cashier.

"That's what I already do right now," she said. "I'm just hoping to make more money."

With the store set to open Oct. 14, employees will begin work in early September stocking shelves. Thirty managers who were hired during a job fair last month are already working.

Located at the southeast corner of U.S. 31 and Alabama 67, the 127,000-square-foot Target store will anchor The Crossings of Decatur, a more than 260,000-square-foot shopping center.

Other retailers slated to open at The Crossings include Old Navy, Hibbett Sporting Goods, Ross Dress for Less, PetSmart, LifeWay Christian Store, Panera Bread Co., Nails First, rue21 and Rack Room Shoes.

According to a spokeswoman for GBT Realty Corp., which is developing the shopping center, most stores will open with Target on Oct. 14.

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