Local retailers begin holiday hiring

ESCANABA — With Black Friday arriving later this month, some local employers are planning to temporarily hire additional workers for the holiday season.

According to Holly Peoples, a business services team member for Michigan Works, many of the area’s seasonal positions are at local stores.

“There are several seasonal openings at a number of retail establishments in Delta County,” Peoples said in an e-mail interview with the Daily Press.

Rick Curtis, store manager for the Shopko store in Escanaba, said his store has filled about 20 seasonal positions over the past few weeks. This is similar to the number of seasonal positions filled at the store for the 2016 holiday season.

“It’s essentially a way for people to make some extra money during the holiday season,” Curtis said of these positions.

Curtis said if there are any vacant positions at his store after the holidays he is open to the idea of adding some seasonal employees to his store’s staff on a more permanent basis.

“If there’s a fit and a need at the store, it’s a good way for an employee to … come aboard,” he said.

Some smaller stores in the area will be adding employees for the holiday season, as well.

“We will be hiring a few extra people, because we’ll be extending our hours to make it more convenient for customers to shop,” said Peggy O’Connell-Schumann, owner of Positively! The Center for Success.

O’Connell-Schumann said seasonal hiring at Positively! for the 2017 holiday season should be roughly in line with last year. She also noted that many of the store’s seasonal employees have been people who have worked there before.

“A lot of times, we fill the … vacancies with returning employees who have gone off to college,” she said. The store plans to hire one or two new seasonal employees, as well.

Not every store in the area will be adding temporary positions during the holiday season, however.

“We’ve been hiring a lot, but not specifically for the holiday season,” said Tim Strasser, general manager of the Menards store in Escanaba.

Strasser said, on the whole, Menards has probably hired more employees in 2017 than in 2016.

“I would say the economy is the biggest factor,” he said of the reason for this increase.

Peoples stated that some non-retail employers have temporary openings during the holidays, as well.

“Another seasonal opportunity we see are jobs at UPS and FedEx, which are posted online at Michigan Talent Connect and on the company websites,” she wrote.

While these positions may not be long-lasting, Peoples stated that they can be worthwhile.

“These are excellent opportunities for additional income for people open to working part time,” she said.