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Home Depot ready to open

by Linda Hiller

Get out your tape measures and heat up the glue gun – the Carson Valley Home Depot will open in five days.

On Thursday, the 118,000-square-foot store, located at Highway 395 and Jacks Valley Road, will open for business right on schedule at 6 a.m, according to Alan Deslongchamp, general manager. One month ago, workers were just completing the installation of orange steel shelving to hold the millions of units of merchandise.

“One of the hardest things we had to do was deal with the weather toward the end of construction,” he said. “We had some wind damage on the front of the building.”

Deslongchamp, 36, said one of the easiest things he had to do to get the Carson Valley Home Depot up and running was hire a staff of 165 people from approximately 1,200 applicants.

“We were really surprised at the large number of well-qualified applicants we got,” he said. “We have a good group.”

Of the 165 employees, around 40 were transferred in from other Home Depot stores – mostly from the two Reno locations – and the rest were hired locally, he said.

– Training a must. Reno-transferee Ross Umphres is one of five assistant managers who oversee 11 department heads, who supervise the rest of the staff. He said employee training on the store’s merchandise is required. It is one of the reasons Home Depot floor workers are known for having answers to customers’ questions on home improvement projects and products, he said.

“Employees are required to attend 4-1/2 hours of training and instruction every month,” Umphres said. “Sometimes it’s a vendor doing the training, or someone else from the store might do it, but we’re required to budget the instruction in.”

Cari Robinson, 18, a senior at Douglas High School and a Jacks Valley resident, will be working 35 hours per week at the Carson Valley Home Depot. She has had retail experience, coming from the Wal-Mart down the road in Carson City, and said she looks forward to working as a cashier at Home Depot before she goes off to the United States military in the fall.

“I really like it here so far,” Robinson said. “The benefits are good and the people here are just great.”

– Free clinics. Deslongchamp said training clinics for customers will be offered every weekend, with topics posted on a schedule chart at the store. Future clinics will include laying tile, laying Pergo flooring, building a deck, treating deck wood, etc. Children’s clinics will also be offered every other weekend, Deslongchamp said, with projects including a birdhouse, a toolbox, wooden race cars, etc. All the clinics are free and open to the public.

Wednesday night, the eve of the official opening, Home Depot will host a preview, invitation-only night for contractors. Nevada’s first lady, Dema Guinn, will cut the board instead of a ribbon for the event.

Beginning Thursday, store hours will be 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays. For more information, call 267-3434.