Dollar General planned in Los Banos exemplifies Merced County's push for jobs

04/17/2013 1:00 AM

04/17/2013 10:29 AM

A Dollar General store is coming to Los Banos, and the company is looking to fill a variety of positions, said Robert Morris, director of Merced County’s Department of Workforce Investment.

A job fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Worknet office, 800 Seventh St. in Los Banos. Interested candidates should bring a résumé and register with Worknet before the job fair.

There could be more than 30 openings, according to Dan MacDonald, a spokesman for Dollar General. The store is slated to open in June .

Advertising for jobs could cost companies like Dollar General a lot of money, but the service is provided free of charge through Worknet, Morris said.

Worknet is known for helping job seekers, but it also offers many resources for business owners from large retailers such as Dollar General to small and medium-sized businesses.

Morris said the job fair is an example of the services the department provides to business owners at no cost.

“Employers are looking for value, and we’re really here for the employer,” Morris said.

For example, the department offers free human resource services such as job advertising, recruitment, prescreening and interviewing. The costs are covered by funds from the Department of Labor, Morris said.

Employers can receive tax credits in some cases.

“We’re very grateful and appreciative of the support we receive from the employment services there in helping us recruit and retain the best people for Dollar General,” MacDonald said.

The services are especially useful for new companies or those with few resources.

“I think about the small and midsize businesses that may not have a human resource department,” Morris said. “Or the businesses looking at coming into the area. We’re a tremendous resource.”

Merced County’s unemployment rate dropped to 17.8 percent in February from 18.4 percent in January, an improvement that largely can be attributed to more education jobs, records show.

The Worknet offices in Merced and Los Banos get an average of 5,000 visitors each month. During a visit, job seekers can browse postings on the Internet or check the job wall, where partner employers such as Dollar General post openings.

A partnership with area businesses is a win-win situation, Morris said, because job seekers can find openings while employers reduce turnover by hiring candidates prescreened by Worknet’s staff.

For more information on the Dollar General job fair, or to sign up for Worknet’s business services, call (877) 267-9675 or visit www.mercedworknet.com.

Reporter Ramona Giwargis can be reached at (209) 385-2477 or rgiwargis@mercedsunstar.com.

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