Central Oregon

'Tis the season for holiday hiring on High Desert

Retailers offer chance for full-time employment

'Tis the season for holiday hiring

BEND, Ore. - Christmas lights and tree ornaments -- it can only mean one thing - the holidays are coming.

For some, the number one thing on their holiday wish list this year, is a job.

"Extra people in the checkstands, help us getting the shelves stocked and full and just helping the customers," Pat Phelps, store director of Bend's Fred Meyer, said Tuesday.

"Whether that's somebody who's in high school that's just looking for something to work a couple weeks or whether that's somebody who is retired who is looking to take on something extra to stay in the game," said John Turbyne, team leader at Target in Bend.

Store managers say they're ready to find employees because they need them trained and ready before Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving.

"Getting everybody here and trained and ready to go is really important because once it comes, it's busy real fast," Phelps said.

The National Retail Federation says retailers nationwide are expected to hire about the same or more seasonal employees this year than last.

"We're looking at about 40 to 60 people, so it just depends. We're looking for really talented people," Turbyne said.

If you're thinking of applying, managers say be professional. Temporary work can lead to a permanent position.

"There is opportunity after the holidays, and probably over the last few years at least half have been kept on," Phelps said.

Sid Poe, a Target employee, is a prime example of that.

"I just celebrated my fifth year at Target," Poe said.

He started as a seasonal employee in the winter of 2008. After the tinsel, garland and lights were put away, he stayed on working part-time.

"From there, I moved into electronics and have been there ever since. I work about three days a week and have a great time doing it," Poe said.

For some, Santa's coming early this year in the form of a job. But you have to seize the opportunity.

"This is the time to really shine, show what you're made of," Turbyne said.

Fred Meyer is finishing up its hiring process, while Target will continue to hire through December. Kohl's and Walmart are also still currently hiring.

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