Final work is being done inside the Wal-Mart distribution center in Mankato. The company is hiring 400 people at a minimum starting wage of $16.75. 

MANKATO — Wal-Mart is taking applications for about 400 jobs at its new distribution center opening this summer with all jobs starting at a minimum of $16.75 per hour.

"The train has started down the track," said Mark Carlson, general manager of the center.

“We are hiring for a variety of positions in order fulfillment, lift operations, receiving, quality assurance, maintenance, and asset protection.”

Through Wal Mart’s Veterans Welcome Home program, the company will offer a job to any qualified veteran who has been honorably discharged within the past 12 months (

Various job positions at the Mankato center will be added to the company's website in the coming weeks (

"We're putting up our support positions and quality assurance first. We need them in first and then we'll be posting for lift drivers, loaders those kinds of positions."

He said the quality assurance positions include auditing store pallets before they go out the door, verifying products and other tasks. "They're the keepers of the quality and accuracy of our building. They make sure we get the right thing in, have the right stuff on hand and ship the right stuff," Carlson said.

He said that the lion's share of positions will start at $16.75 with some jobs starting at a higher wage if they require more specialty skills and training. If an employee works 40 hours a week, the annual wage would be $34,840.

Benefits for eligible full- and part-time associates include health-care coverage with no lifetime maximum, matching 401(k) contributions of up to 6 percent of pay and an Associate Stock Purchase Program and company-paid life insurance.

Although some local employers have cited difficulty in attracting qualified workers, Carlson thinks the pay and benefits package and the excitement around the new distribution center will attract plenty of applicants.

"I think the response will be good. There are a lot of excited folks in the community. They're excited we came to town, and we're excited to be here. It's good to see things finally get in motion."

The center will handle perishable foods for stores throughout the Midwest and Plains, including Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

The center will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Carlson said they will run 10-hour day and night shifts during the week and 11-hour shifts Saturdays through Mondays.

"We don't rotate shifts. Once you're hired, you're on the same schedule."

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