Mariano`s holds job fair in Chicago, 2 more scheduled - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Mariano`s holds job fair in Chicago, 2 more scheduled

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

It is something of a sign of the times. Even though the unemployment rate is dropping nationwide, there's still a big, big demand for jobs, especially here in Chicago.

Hundreds of people braved the cold on Thursday, hoping to get just one thing for Christmas this year: A job at Mariano's. Many of those hopefuls are being laid off by Dominick's.

Mariano's is the grocery store chain that's expanding and hoping to build a bigger base in the Chicago area. Job seekers started a queue outside the Crown Plaza Metro Hotel early Thursday morning, for a first appointment with hiring staff.

Mariano's announced will be buying 11 of the Dominick's stores, as the grocery company closes all 72 of its stores at the end of the year. More than 6,000 jobs will be lost when Dominick's disappears, but Mariano's will be filling 2,500 new positions – about 250 at each of the 11 stores.

Many job fair attendees are Dominick's employees hoping to continue to work in the grocery business. The man in charge for hiring for Roundy's, Mariano's parent company, told FOX 32 News they're looking for people with experience in the food industry, as well as people who just want to get started.

"We're getting a great response," he said. "We've had at least a couple hundred folks come through railroad this morning, we were expecting 350 plus for the day. I think we'll exceed those expectations. The people here have been very excited about Mariano's, and obviously the customers are excited."

The bottom line? People need to work. One applicant has been doing volunteer work while searching for a new permanent position. With the holidays coming soon, he told FOX 32 that he definitely needs the money.

"We provide some great opportunities for people," he concluded. "Maybe also part-time, full-time, right up to management positions - to grow with us."

Thursday's job fair is the first of three that Mariano's will be holding in the Chicago area this week. The other two will be held in Skokie on Friday and Burr Ridge on Saturday.

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