EUGENE, Ore. -- As novel coronavirus has forced some businesses to close their doors, many are finding themselves out of work and are frantically searching for employment.
Across Oregon, Walmart is planning to hire 1,200 associates in its stores and centers.
KEZI 9 News spoke to Walmart’s director of communications Tiffany Wilson about the high demand during this time.
“We hope that we can help provide opportunities for people who are eager to get back to work if they’ve lost their job,” Wilson said. “It just means that we can help put some more money in everyone’s pockets.”
Wilson said the corporation has made a major change to the hiring process.
“We’ve reduced much of the time it takes to bring on new hires,” Wilson said. “What was formerly a two-week process has been shortened, so we can now hire associates within 24 hours.”
Walmart is filling both temporary and permanent positions.
“We’re hoping many of these positions can turn into permanent roles,” Wilson said. “Even before the COVID-19 outbreak hit, we were in need of associates in our stores and in our distribution centers, especially in Oregon.”
Wilson said Walmart’s hope is that those in need of work will be able to provide for their families and feel a sense of relief.
“We’re hearing every day that layoffs are happening and more and more Americans are worried about how to pay their bills,” Wilson said. “This situation has left a lot of families with a lot of doubt and uncertainty.”
Walmart is increasing their benefits to hourly employees who are currently working during the pandemic.
“We are really proud of our associates and their incredible efforts to meet our customer’s needs over the past few weeks," Wilson said. "We are doing our best to really respond to our customer’s needs, restock shelves and really provide them with all the items they are looking for to get through this time.”
Julie Davidson, area manager at WorkSource Lane, encourages everyone to refrain from getting discouraged while on the job search.
“Keep that normalcy,” Davidson said. “Call us to connect. Let us help you find ways to be looking for work and to sharpen your skills.”
Davidson said WorkSource Lane is assisting the community virtually and is determined to help connect those out of work with employment opportunities.
“We’re looking at all ways we can modify our service delivery so we can meet the current demands. We’re being quick on our feet and doing our best to serve.”