Once-controversial Wal-Mart market to open on West Berry Street

Posted Wednesday, Apr. 17, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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A once-controversial Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market opens in Fort Worth at 7:30 a.m. Friday at the intersection of West Berry and Hemphill streets, and the policy of "everyday low prices" will be briefly set aside for three door-buster specials: 12-packs of Dr Pepper products for $2 on Friday (limit of 2); $2.97-a-pound skirt steak for fajitas through Sunday (limited supplies), and eight pieces of rotisserie chicken for $4, Sunday only (limited supplies).

Other vendors will be on site and some prizes will be awarded, we've been reliably informed. The chain and the Walmart Foundation plan to hand out grants totaling $8,000 to community groups, including Rosemont Middle School, Carter Park Elementary School, Travis Avenue Baptist Church, Ronald McDonald House and Mission Travis.

Wal-Mart Stores has been stressing the store's location in an underserved area, the drive-through prescription lane and large windows -- apparently a major departure for the chain -- along with the 85 full- and part-time jobs.

It remains to be seen if tempers have cooled since Wal-Mart refused neighborhood demands and the urgings of city staffers for a more pedestrian-friendly "urban village" approach, with the storefront closer to the street and parking in the rear.

On March 7, 2012, the City Council voted 7-2 to pass a recommendation by Councilman Sal Espino to approve some variances sought by Wal-Mart, ignoring a proposal by the area's own councilman, Joel Burns.

The 40,500-square-foot, sand-colored building is instantly recognizable as a Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market.

Contract manufacturing jobs

In what is likely to be one of the largest single-day fairs, Aerotek, a provider of recruiting and staffing services, is hosting a job fair Saturday to fill 1,000 contract manufacturing positions for a Fortune 500 company in Fort Worth.

That's a ton of jobs, yet Aerotek isn't naming the company.

"It's up to the discretion of the company," said Heather Woolford, a spokeswoman for Aerotek. And in this case, the company didn't want its name out, she said.

The company contracts with Aerotek to fill the positions and workers will be employees of Aerotek. Full-time employees may be eligible for benefits, she said.

The positions will be filled within a couple of weeks and the contract will run indefinitely, Woodford said.

The job fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Holiday Inn, 4635 Gemini Place.

Positions include assembler 1 and 2 levels, material handler, forklift driver, test technician, test operator and quality inspector. The potential contractors must be willing to work weekends and overtime, as needed.

Preregistration is not required. Interviews will be conducted on-site. Candidates must be 18, have a high school diploma or GED and have authorization to work in the U.S. Applicants should bring references, a resume and recent certification relevant to the position being sought.

Health insurance info

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas is seeking Tarrant-area partners for the insurer's campaign aimed at reducing the number of residents without health insurance, a program it calls Be Covered Texas.

The effort provides educational materials to community groups, service agencies and churches for distribution to people who might benefit from the health insurance exchanges and subsidies mandated by the U.S. Affordable Care Act. Texas' exchange, which will be operated by the federal government, is scheduled to go into operation Oct. 1, and policies sold through the exchange go into effect starting Jan. 1, 2014.

Currently the insurer has 28 partners around the state, but only the Urban League of Greater Dallas and North Central Texas has Tarrant ties. Blue Cross and Blue Shield President Bert Marshall said he expects eventually to have hundreds of partners and wants more in Tarrant County.

"The focus is a grassroots educational program that serves the uninsured population," Marshall said.

Sandra Baker, 817-390-7727


Jim Fuquay, 817-390-7552


Barry Shlachter, 817-390-7718


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