KILLEEN — Sam’s Club managers have interviewed a large pool of applicants since opening a hiring center May 16, said general manager Joe Tovi. Managers have called in 10 to 15 interviewees for job offers for the new store, set to open in late fall.
“We’re having a tremendous turnout,” Tovi said. “Our goal is to get 80 people trained within the next week or two.”
Tovi and his five-person management crew will interview candidates until the grand opening, he said. He is hiring for 175 slots, including two assistant manager positions.
Many veterans applied for positions after Wal-Mart Stores Inc. announced its Veterans Welcome Home Commitment, a pledge to hire and train 100,000 veterans through the next five years. President and CEO Bill Simon said the corporation employs more veterans than any other company, and he wants to hire more.
Any honorably discharged veteran within the first 12 months off active duty is offered a job, according to a news release.
“(Veterans) have that team-based environment,” Tovi said. “They’re quick learners, and they’re good about service. It’d be a great fit.”
Applicant Michael Castro, 24, agreed that a veteran’s sense of duty would benefit Sam’s Club, and said military service helped him develop a strong work ethic and leadership skills.
“At my last job, I worked with kids a little younger than me,” Castro said. “They’d say, ‘Let’s leave that for tomorrow.’ But I said, ‘Why don’t we just do it now, and then go home? It’s just a little more time to you.’”
Tovi, 32, began his career with Sam’s Club 13 years ago as a cashier, working his way up through hourly and assistant-manager positions, he said.
“Sam’s Club provides great career opportunities,” Tovi said. “I’m an example of somebody who has taken advantage of them and loves my career.”
The hiring center is open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily at 3400 E. Central Texas Expressway, Suite 101, Killeen.
Workers are building the store at a separate location, 3600 W. Central Texas Expressway, Harker Heights.