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Target warehouse on track for June opening

February 27, 2003|by STACEY DANZUSO

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Target Corp. is planning a three-day job fair next month to attract workers for the roughly 500 jobs it needs to fill before it can open its new distribution center later this year.

The 1.35-million-square-foot Target distribution center in Guilford Township is on track for a June opening, according to Brie Heath, a Target spokeswoman.

The job fair is scheduled for March 21, 22 and 23 at the distribution center and will focus on filling warehouse, packing or clerical positions, according to the Target job hotline.

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Target announced its plans in October 2001 to build the facility on a 137-acre site in Guilford Township that is bordered by Interstate 81 to the east, U.S. 11 to the west, Guilford Springs Road to the north and Lighthouse Road to the south.

Construction has progressed steadily for the last 16 months. While the exterior is complete, work continues inside the facility, Heath said.

"A variety of things still need to be done, like the installation of the machinery," she said.

Ultimately, the facility will employ 1,000 workers, but it will open with about 500 on staff and ramp up over the next three years, Heath said.

David Sciamanna, director of the Chambersburg Area Development Corp., said the economic impact of the facility is already being felt.

"We know Target has begun the process of moving some folks into the community. I spoke with a Realtor this week who has sold two or three houses" to managers who will work at the distribution center, Sciamanna said.

"The big impact is going to be with the job fair," he said. "This is major job creation. Right now with the manufacturing sector terribly depressed and with the closings and downsizings there will be a lot of interest."

The distribution center will serve Target retail stores in the mid-Atlantic region. Officials have said there are no current plans to build a Target retail store in Franklin County. The closest store is in Hagerstown.

Several infrastructure improvements were completed in tandem with construction on the facility, including extending public sewer from the Chambers-5 Business Park south to the Target site.

Guilford Springs and Loop roads have been realigned to create a new signaled intersection on U.S. 11, which will be the primary access point for the facility.

Target, based in Minneapolis, has more than 1,000 stores and 250,000 employees nationwide. It is opening more than 100 stores this year, Heath said.

Target is expected to become one of the top five employers in the county within the next five years.

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