Low unemployment could make hundreds of Meijer jobs hard to fill

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Originally published January 24, 2017 HOWARD, Wis. (WBAY) — Many have watched as Meijer in Howard has taken shape over about the last year.

The company announced Tuesday it is hiring for the new location, which is scheduled to open later in the spring.

Meijer said it is hiring about 300 people in positions ranging from cashiers to cake decorators.

“The positions obviously here, being offered, provide an opportunity for people to begin a retail career or continue their retail career with a growing company.,” said Meijer spokesperson Joe Hirschmugl.

However, local workforce leaders said finding people to fill those positions may not be as easy as it sounds.

“The unemployment rate’s low and that’s going to be a challenge,” Jim Golembeski, Bay Area Workforce Development Board executive director, said.

Meijer said the starting pay varies and many jobs are above minimum wage.

Experts said that higher pay may be necessary.

“My guess is we’re going to see a little bit of wage increase because of the competition for those workers,” Golembeski said.

Golembeski also said people are moving to Green Bay, not away, which is unique.

“Those kind of opportunities will hopefully draw even more people here and our employers will find the workers that they need,” he said.

People in surrounding communities could help make up the employee base too.

“We already see quite a bit of commuting from Oconto county, a lot from Shawano county,” said Golembeski, adding that the commute may not be worth it depending on the price of gas and the hourly wage.

There is no firm date on when the Meijer in Howard will open.

Meijer said construction is going as planned and the store will open late spring.

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