500 additional jobs for Comal county

New Kohl's department store and Home Depot Supply customer service center announced

Two national retail chains have announced new facilities to be constructed in Comal county. Kohl's Department Stores plans to hire approximately 150 area residents for a new store in the former K-Mart building at I-35 and Hwy. 46 W. slated to open in October 2004. Home Depot Supply is seeking about 350 new hires for its new customer service center to open early in 2005.

The combined 500 new positions should help make up for some of the job losses experienced by the county in recent years. The closings of facilities operated by K-Mart, Flextronics and others had resulted in job losses. Job quality and full-time employment is also a factor as many jobs in the county are tourism related and seasonal.

Kohl's, based in Menomonee Falls, WI, is a "family-focused, value-oriented specialty department store offering moderately priced national brand apparel, shoes, accessories and home products," according to the company. The new store brings the chain's total to 589 stores in 38 states.

To facilitate Kohl's local recruiting effort, the store has activated a 24-hour hotline for job seekers. Job applicants can get a jump-start by calling 1-877-NEW-KOHLS (1-877-639-5645) to begin the application process.

Kohl's is looking for "department associates, register operators and associates in nighttime ad set/price management, receiving, service desk, housekeeping and loss prevention." In addition to competitive wages and medical insurance, Kohl's employee benefits include a 401(k) plan, an employee stock ownership program and merchandise discounts. Kohl's is an equal opportunity employer that strives to meet the diverse needs of its community.

The Home Depot, the world's largest home improvement retailer, initiated its Home Depot Supply division to sell and service the professional builder. The customer service center slated for Comal county will support the double-digit growth of the division and will employ around 350 people. The center will open in early 2005 and will provide support services to facility management customers. The exact location for the center has yet to be selected.

"We are excited about opening a customer service center in Texas. After an extensive search process, Comal county was at the top of our list for its pool of qualified job applicants," said Jim Stoddart, president of The Home Depot Supply.

The division is part of The Home Depot's strategy to expand into professional customer channels. The division sells to production homebuilders, facility maintenance professionals, construction contractors, government agencies and procurement customers, landscape professionals, renovation contractors and custom builders, plumbing contractors, HVAC contractors, and mechanical contractors and plant engineers. This is the third customer service center for the division.

Bob DeRodes, The Home Depot executive vice president and CIO said "The positive business environment created by the state of Texas helped create this facility. Today's announcement wouldn't have happened without the hard work and support of Governor Perry, Lt. Governor Dewhurst, Speaker Craddick, Comptroller Strayhorn, New Braunfels Mayor Adam Cork and the New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce."

Founded in 1978, The Home Depot is the second largest retailer in the United States (behind Wal-Mart), with fiscal 2003 sales of $64.8 billion. The company employs approximately 300,000 associates and has 1,788 stores in 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, eight Canadian provinces and Mexico.

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