Service industry employees who have lost work due to the COVID-19 response could possibly find employment in one job sector that’s rapidly hiring to meet demand: grocery stores.
Following Gov. JB Pritzker’s shelter-in-place declaration issued Friday, grocery stores are among the few places anyone is allowed to go for the next two weeks. But even before the order, several grocery store companies had announced they were planning to bring on additional workers to prepare for a rush of customers, an increased demand for delivery service and the potential that the coronavirus could sideline part of their workforce.
Hy-Vee, which operates 265 retail stores across eight states, including a location in Bloomington, announced Friday it is seeking temporary, part-time hourly employees to work at many of its stores and its two distribution centers in Iowa.
Public Relations Director Christina Gayman said Hy-Vee needs more workers to restock shelves and to clean and sanitize its stores.
“Those who may have temporarily lost their job due to the current pandemic, are out of school, want to make additional money, or simply want to help during this time are welcome to apply at Hy-Vee,” Gayman said.
Kroger, which owns three stores in Bloomington-Normal and more than 2,700 retail stores under various names across the United States, said it is hiring 10,000 employees nationwide and will pay employees for 14 days if they have become diagnosed with COVID-19 or are forced to quarantine.
“The positions may be perfect for people whose current jobs have been suspended by the coronavirus crisis,” spokesperson Eric Halvorson said in a news release. He added applicants could be placed on the job within days.
Meijer, which owns 245 stores in Illinois and five other states, announced on its website it is hiring to help meet increased demand for its delivery and pickup services.
“We’re hiring additional seasonal team members in each of our stores to meet the demands of the business,” President and CEO Rick Keyes said. “We’ve also been reaching out to local businesses affected by closures to help place their staff in positions in our stores until their businesses can re-open.”
Jewel-Osco, which owns 188 stores in Illinois, Indiana and Iowa, including three locations in Bloomington-Normal, said it has 3,000 job openings for part-time in-store employees, delivery drivers and workers at its distribution center at Melrose Park.
— Jewel-Osco (@jewelosco) March 19, 2020
Sam’s Club has announced it is offering cash bonuses for some hourly workers and will be expediting the hiring process to help fill thousands of immediate openings at its 600 stores nationwide.
Apply for Sam's Club today. https://careers.walmart.com/stores-clubs/sams-club-jobs
Walmart has announced plans to hire 150,000 workers nationwide and will pay $550 million in bonuses to staff. It has two locations in Bloomington-Normal.
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