Vons bags many job applicants in Glendale

Job seekers from all over the Los Angeles area came out to Glendale for a shot at landing a position with Vons on Wednesday, as the supermarket chain sought to fill openings in the city and beyond with a recruitment event hosted by the Verdugo Jobs Center.

Hopeful applicants lined up at 7:30 a.m. for interviews conducted by Vons representatives later in the morning. By 10 a.m., more than 70 applicants had signed up, said Melina Sardar, who coordinated the event for the jobs center.

For Robert Mann, who came to the event from Azusa in a shirt and tie, the chance for an interview and possibly get hired was worth the drive after being out of work since last September.

"It means everything to have the opportunity, even just the practice of doing an interview," he said. "You can't even get people to pick up the phone often."

Sardar said the center expected to see well over 100 job seekers come to the event, which, as a major recruiting effort, is one of the primary focuses of the nonprofit, which relies on job placement numbers to score state and federal grant funding.

"This kind of validates our existence, so we can maybe get more funding and hold on to what we have already," she said.

The center has hosted a recruitment for the Souplantation in Glendale, and will have one for the new Jo-Ann Fabrics store that is coming to Central Avenue in the former Albertson's store.

Leo Bekijansaki, 18, said he needs a job to support himself while he attends classes at a community college or vocational school in the fall. He added that the jobs center's help was invaluable.

"It helps a lot, to be honest," he said. "They pretty much do everything for you… Especially for teenagers, that helps."

Vons spokeswoman Jenna Watkinson said the store is filling around 20 part-time positions such as courtesy clerks, deli workers, produce clerks and in-store support for Vons' new online shopping program in stores in Glendale, Burbank, Eagle Rock, La Crescenta and Pasadena.

Overall, Vons is hiring around 200 workers company-wide, Watkinson said.

Even those part-time positions, Sardar said, are invaluable for people who have been out of work for over six months, as employers often don't consider applicants who have been out of the workforce that long.

Rob McGowan, who came from Torrance, said he had been laid off from his position at a nonprofit, but that he would have been applying even if he hadn't lost his job.

"I wanted a second job regardless," he said. "I wanted something steady, some steady part-time work."


Follow Daniel Siegal on Google+ and on Twitter: @Daniel_Siegal.


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