Walmart hiring for Prescott Valley store set to open in January 2014

PRESCOTT VALLEY - Wal-mart conducted a "soft opening" Thursday for its hiring center to fill an estimated 300 part- and full-time jobs before its supercenter opens in mid-January.

But as of lunchtime, 30 to 40 people applied at the temporary office Walmart opened on the second floor of the Fain Signature Building at 3001 N. Main St., Store Director Kevin Ray said. Job seekers apply online in the office, which has about 14 computers and formerly housed the Prescott Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Ray, a 20-year Walmart employee who has managed the supercenter on Highway 69 in Prescott for two and a half years, said he will begin setting up interviews next week and plans to hire some supervisors in a few weeks. He added he hopes to fill all the openings by the time employees move into the supercenter in mid-December at Glassford Hill Road and Lakeshore Drive.

Walmart has no educational or work experience requirements for the jobs, Ray said. The requirements are "just friendly, courteous people," he said.

Walmart also has promised to offer jobs to veterans who have been honorably discharged within the past 12 months, a news release stated.

Walmart offers benefit packages to eligible employees, including medical, 401(k) plans and discounts on merchandise.

Walmart's hiring center drew a number of applicants during lunchtime Thursday.

"I am just looking for work, like everybody else," said Phillip Nelson, who moved to Chino Valley five months ago from the Vancouver area of Washington state. He said he has "a lot of retail experience."

While Nelson filled out an application, three women arrived, including Pamela Clark, who formerly worked at the supercenter on Gail Gardner Way in Prescott. Unemployed for three weeks, Clark said she brings 30 years of experience in the food industry, "It's deli or bakery," she said. "Deli is fun. I like customer service."

Customer service work as well as cashiering appeals to Brandy Peterson, who said she has been between jobs for a year and lives with her parents in Prescott Valley. She also is seeking licensing as a certified nursing assistant.

The job center will be open from 8 to 5 p.m. weekdays until Walmart fills the positions. For more information, call 772-4728.

Job seekers also may apply away from the office online at http://careers.walmart.com.

Veterans may find out more at http://walmartcareerswithamission.com.

Follow reporter Ken Hedler on Twitter @KenHedlines.