BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The construction continued Wednesday on the new Wal-Mart at Burbank Drive and Bluebonnet Boulevard. Scott Sweeney is the General Manager of the giant retail store and says his career with the company began by stocking shelves overnight and now he's looking forward to hiring about 300 employees for his new store.
"I was at the site and contractors were telling me people are wanting jobs and they're calling their trailer and excited to get this hiring center open so that's the big key to getting us started we need to get folks in, we need to get them trained," said Sweeney.
Across Bluebonnet sits about 12 acres of undeveloped land belonging to Jerry Pearson.
"I wouldn't trade the property for any 12 acres I know of in the city," said Pearson.
Pearson has owned the land for about six years and believes the Wal-Mart opening will be exactly what the area needs to turn the corner.
"What a great economic indicator these guys are," said Pearson. "They create tremendous volume. Well with volume comes employees and it just spins off into the economy."
Wal-Mart will begin taking applications for the positions this week at its job center set up on Brookline Avenue. U.S. veterans are among those encouraged to apply but Sweeney says he is proof positive that anyone can succeed in the company.
"You just have to come in be dedicated, work hard and just tell them what you want to do and they'll put the training there, put the people there and give you the skill set to keep moving up through the community," said Sweeney.
"This area has been so green for so long but with Harveston down the street and all of Mike Wampold's development, with all the things happening down Nicholson, this area's just right and it's the right time and the right place," added Pearson.
According to Sweeney, Wal-Mart expects to have between 40 to 50 of its new employees hired within the next three weeks with the remaining staff in place by the time the store opens sometime in June.
Applications will be accepted Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Brookline Avenue Job Center.