Job seekers flock to area grocer

June 24th, 2015 1:35 pm

First Posted: 7/17/2013

KINGSTON — Even the biggest sales of the years probably wouldn’t draw the type of crowds Aldi did on Thursday as the discount grocer held a hiring fair to fill 15 cashier positions.

The $10-an-hour jobs drew hundreds of applicants to the market’s Kingston location on Pierce Street. The jobs needing to be filled are in Kingston, Pittston and Scranton.

While the positions were advertised as cashiers openings, Maria Ferrese, Aldi’s district manager, noted she was looking for people who are willing to perform a variety of tasks. She said that none of their employees were above doing any job for the overall benefit of the store. The goal was to find employees who would develop a sense of loyalty to Aldi’s.

“We are a very small staff and we usually hold on to people for a long time,” Ferrese said, noting the three local stores employ less than 30 people in total.

Prior to the fair’s start, at 3 p.m., scores of people already were waiting in line for a chance to prove themselves worthy of the part- and full-time positions. Some of the applicants were unemployed, while others had part-time work but said they needed the stability of a consistent paycheck.

Senior citizen Cynthia Rackley, of Mountain Top, said many of the available jobs in this area are either minimum-wage or part-time, which she feels isn’t enough to support herself. She voiced a desire to work because she wants to avoid drawing Social Security from the government.

Another applicant, Tom Tippens, 32, of Wilkes-Barre, has a part-time job but has been looking for a full-time job since February, despite having a degree from Edinboro University.

Ferrese said sales are up at the local Aldi stores and the company is just trying to keep up with the increased business.