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Kroger to hire 11,000 employees across store divisions

Supermarket giant also to invest $500 million in wages, training

The Kroger Co. has initiated a hiring drive to fill about 11,000 jobs, including almost 2,000 management posts, in its supermarket divisions.

Kroger said Tuesday that the positions don’t include jobs arising from capital investment, such as temporary construction jobs, or from company mergers and acquisitions. Interested candidates can apply at jobs.kroger.com.

The job openings are in line with employment totals in recent years, according to Kroger. The grocery retailer said its family of stores created 10,000 new jobs in 2017 and 12,000 in 2016. Overall, Kroger and its subsidiaries employ nearly 500,000 people.

“Over the last decade, Kroger has added 100,000 new jobs in communities across America. In addition to fueling the U.S. economy, many of our supermarket jobs are an opportunity for associates to grow and advance their careers,” Tim Massa, group vice president of human resources and labor relations at Kroger, said in a statement.

Kroger’s food retail network encompasses 2,800 stores under more than two dozen banners, including Kroger, Ralphs, Dillons, Smith’s, King Soopers, Fry’s, QFC, City Market, Owen’s, Jay C, Pay Less, Baker’s, Gerbes, Harris Teeter, Pick ’n Save, Copps, Metro Market, Mariano’s, Fred Meyer, Food 4 Less and Foods Co.

Also on Tuesday, Kroger reiterated plans to invest $500 million in associate wages, training and development over the next three years. The effort reflects the talent development component of its “Restock Kroger” strategic plan to redefine the food and grocery customer experience.

For instance, last month in Cincinnati, Kroger employees ratified a labor pact with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union 75 that will lead to starting wage and overall wage hikes in various markets nationwide, the company said. The agreement lifted starting wages to at least $10 per hour and accelerated wage growth to $11 an hour after a year of service for associates in the Cincinnati/Dayton division.

Kroger, too, aims to invest a chunk of its tax benefit from the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in its workforce. The company said it will announce more details on the plan this month.

"We are committed to creating great entry-level jobs and investing in our associates so they can reach their full potential," Massa said.

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