DATE:  December 7, 2001     NO: 01-92

CONTACT: Kim Metcalfe PHONE:  (907) 465-2253

Department of Labor and Workforce Development

News Release

New Fred Meyer Store to Hire Close to 300 Employees

The Anchorage Midtown Job Center will be the site later this month of a mass recruitment effort to fill nearly 300 jobs at Anchorage’s newest Fred Meyer store. The new store, the Southeast Anchorage Fred Meyer located on Abbot Road and Independence Drive, is due to open February 20, 2002. Hiring will begin in early January. New employees will receive job training and will help stock the new store prior to its opening. Jobs are already being advertised in local media outlets. Preliminary interviews begin at the Anchorage Midtown Job Center on December 31 and will continue through January. Fred Meyer is Alaska’s third largest employer, with over two thousand employees in grocery and general merchandise sales. Job applications are available at any Anchorage Job Center or Fred Meyer store.

Job Center Helps with Pre-Screening

The State Job Center can provide pre-screening assistance to employers who are hiring large numbers of people. "Job Center staff screens applicants to make sure they meet minimum qualifications as requested by the employer. We provide conference rooms and interview areas for human resource managers and make sure they have everything they need during the hiring process," said Sharon Chriss, state employment services supervisor at the Midtown Job Center. 

Bernice Lloyd, human resource administrator at the Muldoon Fred Meyer store, has worked with Job Center staff during previous mass hirings. "They do a great job at the Job Center; they do pre-screenings and send people to the right department for their skills. Then we go over the applications and interview them," Lloyd said.

Employers are offered tax credits through the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) if they hire people who are long-term welfare recipients. If applicants meet certain guidelines employers can reduce their federal tax liability by up to $8,500 per new hire. Job Center staff can assist clients with the form that generates this tax credit.


Left to right: Michael Vincent, Fred Meyer Store Director, Mary Lucas, Seattle Fred Meyer Human Resources Supervisor, and Nancy Heckmann, State Employment Security Sepcialist review hiring plan for new Fred Meyer store.State Job Center services are available to any Alaska employer who needs help finding qualified job applicants. Office and conference space to conduct job interviews and individual workstations are also available. 

Martha Cervantes, human resources recruiter for NANA Development Corporation, found out about Job Center services when she attended the Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s "Employers’ Advantage" conference in October. "I was at the free seminar and Job Center was a part of it. They said we do this and we do that and my jaw dropped," Cervantes said. The workshop held by Job Center staff at the conference highlighted the weekly job fairs Job Center facilitates for Carrs/Safeway, Fred Meyer and other Anchorage area employers. NANA Development Corporation was experiencing a shortage of job applicants for the food service, housekeeping, hotel and janitorial jobs they recruit for. "We were trying to find a way of saying, ‘hey, we’re here,’" Cervantes said. The Job Center was exactly what Cervantes was looking for; it had a ready supply of job seekers and a place to fill out applications and conduct interviews. Cervantes now holds weekly recruiting sessions at the Anchorage Midtown Job Center and will branch out to the Gambell Street Job Center when NANA begins its recruiting drive for the summer tourist season in April and May. 

"We have large conference rooms or small offices that are available at several locationsLtoR: Job Center's Nancy Heckmann shows Fred Meyers' Mary Lucas and Michael Vincent individual work spaces at the Anchorage Midtown Job Center. to conduct interviews with potential employees or to conduct job-related training," said Tom Nelson, Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s Anchorage/Mat-Su Regional manager. "Our job is to do whatever we can to help people get jobs. If that means helping review applications for a mass hiring for a big outfit like Fred Meyer, we do it. If it means helping a small employer find two or three workers, we do that, too," Nelson said.

The state Job Center website lists upcoming job fairs. Carrs/Safeway stores in Anchorage conduct weekly job fairs on Monday at 1:30 p.m. at the Anchorage Midtown Job Center and on Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m. at the Muldoon Job Center. A recruitment session for Providence Health System will be held Friday, December 7 at 12:30 p.m. at the Anchorage Midtown Job Center. The visitor industry will hold mass recruitments in Anchorage December 19 at the Egan Convention Center, Fairbanks January 30-31 at the UAF Wood Center, and again in Anchorage February 6 at the Lucy Cuddy Center on the UAA Campus. Over 30 of Alaska’s major tour companies will be present to interview applicants for next summer’s tour season.

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