Spring is the Home Depot's hot selling season, so the home-and-garden chain plans to hire 425 temporary employees to bolster staffs at its seven Northern San Joaquin Valley stores and two distribution centers.
It is soliciting applications for people willing to work the next 90 to 120 days at its stores in Modesto, Ceres, Riverbank, Manteca, Merced and Los Banos. Each store is expected to hire 40 to 50 workers.
An additional 100 seasonal employees are sought for the company's distribution center in Tracy, which opened in 2008. Twenty-five more workers are needed at its decade-old Lathrop distribution center.
The new hires at both centers will load and unload products and pull orders for Home Depot stores. They may receive forklift training and operate forklifts.
Employees move material within the facility and from the loading platform by carrying, pushing, rolling or operating hand trucks, forklifts, hoists, motorized conveyors and other material-handling equipment.
While the jobs are temporary and do not offer benefits, Home Depot contends that about half of its 2011 and 2012 seasonal hires got permanent positions with the company.
"It's a great way to get your foot in the door," said Katherine Ellison, a company spokeswoman.
Earlier this week, a University of the Pacific Business Forecasting Center report indicated that Merced was continuing to add jobs at a slow but steady pace.
This year, county employers are expected to add about 2,400 nonfarm jobs, data from the center's forecast showed. Merced County lost roughly 2,500 jobs between 2007 and 2011.
The expected increase would bring Merced County back to its prerecession levels, with about 58,500 jobs, according to the center's quarterly report.
The only way to apply for the Home Depot jobs is online. Ellison said people who do not have Internet access can use one of the store's computers to apply.
Ellison said no previous experience is required to work at Home Depot or its distribution centers, and the company provides employee training. Applicants must be at least 18 years old.
Job seekers can apply at www.careers.homedepot.com.
Modesto Bee staff writer J.N. Sbranti can be reached at email@example.com or (209) 578-2196.