Earlier this month, the U.S. Labor Department ranked Louisiana’s unemployment rate among the top ten highest in the nation at about six percent, excluding seasonal changes.
But job opportunities are available locally. The Home Depot is adding thousands of jobs nationwide, including right here in Acadiana ahead of spring, their busiest season.
The local Home Depot system, which includes New Orleans and Acadiana, is adding 525 jobs with up to 40 seasonal and permanent positions available at each location.
The home improvement store is known for hiring college students, retirees and veterans like Floyd Jamison who has been with the company for 13 years.
Jamison served in the National Guard and Army and spent time in Panama, the Netherlands, Italy, and Bosnia.
“During that time the war was going on. people were really happy to see us land. Children would come up to us so we always had candy and treats in our pockets to give to the kids,” he told KLFY’s Lydia Magallanes.
Helping people is what Floyd loved most about being in the Army, and it’s something he says he still gets to do at The Home Depot.
“You see the same customers over and over. It’s their favorite store even if they’re not shopping they’re always looking for something. It’s just great to know the customer by name and face. They’ll say ‘Hey Floyd’ and ‘I’ll say Hey Mr. Smith’. Especially when they purchase a house, that’s a really big thing. If you think about it that’s one of the most important things, purchasing a house,” Jamison explained.
Although Home Depot heavily recruits every spring, those positions could be job opportunities for oil and gas industry workers who have been laid off.
“My neighbor was affected by it (what’s happening in the oil and gas industry). He lost his job,” Autumne Beniot told News 10.
Benoit is the Associate Support Department Supervisor for the South Lafayette Home Depot.
She said oil and gas industry workers are among job applicants and offer valuable skills.
“We hate to see what’s happening in the oil and gas industry and we sure hope our job openings will give folks the opportunity to make ends meet. Who know? Maybe they’ll make a career out of The Home Depot,” Beniot said.