KAHULUI -- Whole Foods Market is looking for about 140 employees to staff its new Maui Mall store, according to Ray Stockton, who will manage the store expected to open in late February.
The new jobs at what was Star Market should provide a boost to Maui's flagging unemployment numbers, which the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations reported were at 9 percent for the island in October, nearly 60 percent higher than Maui's 5.5 percent unemployment in October 2008.
The Austin, Texas-based company is conducting a "total, complete store hiring," said Stockton, adding that jobs include staff for the store's produce, bakery, meats and sea foods sections as well as courtesy and check-out clerks, he said.
Whole Foods is advertising the jobs online at Craigslist. One ad says: "At Whole Foods Market, we empower out team members to make their own decisions, thus creating an environment where people are treated with respect and are highly motivated to excel."
The company says it fills management positions from its existing employee base and had training programs to help workers advance their careers. The company offers a benefits package that includes medical and group health plan coverage, a 401k plan and a 20 percent discount at Whole Foods stores. Prospective employees apply online by going to www.wholefoodsmarket.com/careers. Applications need to be completed by mid December.
The online applications will be used as a database and an initial-screening process for an invitation-only job fair at the new store on Jan. 6 and 7.
Construction work has been completed for the 26,366-square-foot natural and organic foods supermarket, Stockton said.
"It's just a matter of stocking and staffing it," he said.
The store will be buying Maui-grown produce and meat, he said.
"We're looking forward to contributing to the island of Maui," Stockton said.
The store's first market in Hawaii was opened at the Kahala Mall on Oahu in September 2008.