Hundreds find jobs, security at IE Home Depot

ONTARIO, Calif. "It's security I can have for my family," said the Rancho Cucamonga resident. "It means a lot."

Breiholz is among 325 recently-hired employees at the Home Depots' newly-built rapid deployment center in Ontario.

At a ceremony celebrating the grand opening Monday, general manager Diane Flowers cut through a board signaling a new beginning for many workers.

"A lot of them were unemployed for very long periods of time and they've been grateful to have a place to come to work," Flowers said.

Local officials were also on hand to usher in a welcomed venture in the Inland Empire, where unemployment has consistently been above the state average.

"The best way to turn the economy around is to give people good jobs, and this is a place where you all have good jobs," Ontario Mayor Paul Leon told the new hires. "You have good security in your jobs, too."

The state-of-the-art distribution facility is expected to improve efficiency and reduce overstocking and out-of-stocked items at its stores.

The rapid deployment center will ship products to 80 stores in the Southern California region, and is the size of 15 football fields.

With their signature orange aprons, employees said they are eager to get to begin sorting and loading inventory.

"We've been working for almost two months now, just getting the facility ready and getting ready for today," said Ryan Partridge. "Our first start-up day is tomorrow. We start receiving trailers and we'll see how it goes."

The retailer expects to hire an additional 200 employees over the next two years, providing more jobs that will put more people back to work.

Copyright © 2020 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.