A temporary hiring center will open on Wednesday, May 22, at 16097 S.E. McLoughlin Blvd. so Walmart can hire up to 95 associates to work about half mile down the road at its new “Neighborhood Market” slated to open this summer.

The Oak Grove center will be hiring both full- and part-time associates from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, or online at

Assistant Manager Steve Vinson, a Damascus resident who retired in 2009 from 21 years in the Army, is especially excited about hiring opportunities for veterans. After a few years as an Army contractor, he saw the “hiring” sign outside the West Linn Neighborhood Store, the first such store in the Northwest, and got the job.

“Walmart not only embraces veterans, they also take pains to make sure that they cater to veterans’ skills,” Vinson said. “It was a great opportunity full of excitement, and even after all these years, I’m still excited to come to work.”

Locals had a mixed reaction last year to Walmart’s largest such store to occupy 63,500 square feet at the site of the former G.I. Joe’s store at McLoughlin Boulevard and Concord Road. The Jennings Lodge Community Planning Organization welcomed that what was a vacant, graffiti-filled eyesore would have a “time-proven” responsible occupant.

But by a 13-9 vote, the Oak Grove Community Council declared its opposition to a store, and a group of residents formed No Oak Grove Walmart ( claiming that Walmart destroys local businesses.

“To make that flat parking lot, they built a fortress,” said Sue Conachan. “Doesn't look like anything else along McLoughlin, not that we didn't want changes or improvements to McLoughlin in our community because we do but we want it to look better.”

Vinson noted Clackamas County approved permits for the site where his dad retired from the Army and got his first assistant-manager job at the McLoughlin G.I. Joe’s.

“The store is going to hold a lot of surprises in a good way,” he said. “If plans holds to what they’re supposed to, we’re going to have just a little more of everything than the usual Neighborhood Store.”

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