Big Y looks to hire 1,000 in all stores, HQ, distribution center

 Big Y has more than 1,000 job openings in all areas of the company in response to its expansion and growth, the Springfield-based, family-run chain said Wednesday. There are openings at all Big Y supermarkets, as well as its Fresh Acres Specialty Market, Table & Vine Fine Wines and Spirits, Big Y Express gas and convenience stores, Fresh & Local Distribution Center and Store Support Center.

Supermarket openings include bakery, meat and seafood, food service and deli department managers and assistant department managers, overnight stocking clerks, and part-time positions in all departments. Openings at the Springfield distribution center include selectors, porters and equipment operators.

Big Y Express stores around the region have openings for managers, assistant managers, head cashiers and clerks. Positions at the Store Support Center in Springfield include accounts payable manager, general liability manager and openings in information resources and technology.

The company has 12,000 employees. It operates 85 locations throughout Massachusetts and Connecticut, including 71 supermarkets and 12 gas and convenience stores.

Big Y opened its newest Big Y Express this week in Westfield.

At the same time, COVID-19 and orders meant to protect the public from it have curtailed business at bars, restaurants and casinos.

“We wanted people to know that we have opportunities here,” said Michael J. Galat, vice president of employee services. “Also, we know there are some people out of work right now, especially in those customer-facing roles.”

According to September numbers, the most recent available, from the state Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, Springfield and its surrounding towns have a 9.9% unemployment rate. That’s nearly three times the 3.4% rate a year ago September 2019.

The job openings are so varied Galat couldn’t talk about rates of pay. But Big Y said benefits include flexible work shifts to accommodate parents, retirees, seniors, and high school and college students. Flexibility has become even more important as everyone adjusts their schedules during the pandemic.

“It is not unusual to support changing shifts to accommodate sports teams’ games and practices, exams, remote learning and family life events,” Kecia Bossie, Big Y’s employment manager, said in a news release. “Big Y is the perfect working environment for students, retirees, caregivers and others seeking flexible shifts and excellent benefits.”

The company has already invested over $1 million through its tuition assistance plan for qualifying full- and part-time student employees. Its annual scholarship program has awarded almost $5 million to more than 6,700 employees and their dependents. Big Y has a history of employing veterans, starting with co-founder Gerry D’Amour, who served in the military in World War II.