Kohl's looking to fill 400 positions in the Valley

FRESNO, California

Not only will the Kohls' expansion generate 400 retail jobs, it will also stimulate the valley economy.

The Kohls at Sierra Vista Mall in Clovis is getting a makeover inside and out as the store prepares for a September 26th opening.

Mall General Manager Greg Newman says Kohls will pump new life into a shopping center which lost both Mervyns and Gottschalks in 2008-2009. Newman said, "To have both of them leave within eight months of each other was tough but we were able to make it through it. Kohls, this will be the start of something brand new and we're happy to have them."

The long lines for the Kohls job fair at the Hilton Garden Inn in Clovis are indicative of Fresno County's 16-percent jobless rate. Marissa Payte of Fresno said, "I've been looking for six months and have been lucky to get interviews."

Kohls District Manager Christie Boudakian says group interviews are done every 45 minutes to accommodate the massive turnout.

Applicants must make a good first impression. Boudakian said, "Each of the three stores we're going to have approximately 130-150 associates and then we're potentially going to be interviewing a thousand per location so over three-thousand potential candidates."

Turnout at the Clovis job fair has been larger than the Hanford and Porterville sites.

The Sierra Vista Mall has added new businesses such as Deko posh and Azkara. Newman expects Kohls' expansion to give the local economy a boost. He explained, "Job creation is big for any community because that money is re-circulated into the community so it helps all the other stores."

The local job interviews continue through Thursday. In addition to the Clovis site, job fairs are also being held at the Hanford Civic Auditorium and the Holiday Inn Express in Porterville.

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