Wal-Mart opens hiring centers to staff two D.C. stores

Job applicants fill out forms outside a Wal-Mart hiring center at 900 2nd Street NE Monday. The retailer has opened two hiring centers in the District to help fill 600 jobs at two new stores. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)

WASHINGTON – With two stores under construction and the fight over the District’s living wage bill history, Wal-Mart has hung the “help wanted” sign.

The nation’s largest retailer has announced 600 job openings at two of its stores scheduled to open later this year and hundreds of applicants have already answered the call.

“I need a job bad. I just had a baby,” Capri Wofford of D.C. said as she stood in line at one of two Wal-Mart hiring centers that opened their doors Monday.

“I do have experience in the grocery department, so I’m hoping to bring my skills to Wal-Mart,” said another hopeful Wal-Mart employee, Tyron Mitchell also of D.C.

Wal-Mart had threatened to cancel plans to open stores in the city if the District approved the living wage bill, which would have imposed a super-minimum wage of $12.50 an hour for employees at city big-box stores. But Mayor Vincent Gray vetoed the bill and the council sustained the veto.

“We should be making $12.50, it’s rough here in D.C., but I understand people need jobs,” said Anthony Mitchell as he waited his turn in line. “I need a job. I need a job bad,” he said.

“We’ve had hundreds show up today,” said Eric Quist, manager of the store being built near the Capitol, at 2nd and H streets NE.

Another Wal-Mart will open at 7818 Eastern Ave. NW.

Applications can be filed online at walmart.com. Eventually Wal-Mart plans to open four additional stores in the District.

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