SUZETTE COOK/Alachua County Today

Alachua Publix is expected to open in the fourth quarter of 2015.

ALACHUA – Publix is nearing the completion of its Alachua location and is ready to start the hiring process next week.

According to Dwaine Stevens, media and community relations manager for Publix, “There are approximately 80 jobs available ranging from part-time to full-time opportunities in various departments.”

Publix has been promoting a job fair by handing out fliers at locations throughout Alachua County.  The job fair is scheduled to be held at Santa Fe High School in Alachua at 16213 U.S. Highway 441 on Aug. 4-6 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“We are asking anyone that has any experience in retail, as well as candidates seeking their first job, come to the job fair to find out about career opportunities with Publix,” said Stevens.

He estimated start date for training the new hires as the beginning of September.

“They will be training at other stores in the area,” he added so the staff will be prepared when the store officially opens. “The stores they will train at are still being confirmed.

Alachua Market Place, where Publix will serve as the anchor business, consists of an approximate 46,000 square foot Publix Supermarket, 9,100 square feet in adjacent retail stores and an outparcel with a 3,500 square foot fast-food restaurant.

This is the second time Publix has held its job fair at SFHS. “We have decided to use SFHS because having attended previous career fairs, there, we had an established relationship and wanted to continue that great partnership.”

SFHS Principal Dr. Beth LeClear is happy to host the job fair in the media center.

“They came and asked if they could have some space," she said. “I feel it's a benefit because many of our students would like to apply.”

Stevens said candidates are not required to apply online before the job fair. “It's not mandatory but an option,” he said.

Interested applicants can schedule an appointment by registering at publix.fullslate.com and selecting Alachua. “Walk-ins are welcome but to avoid lines, you may register,” reads the flier.

“We are excited to be there,” added Stevens.

A grand opening date has not been officially announced, but according to Stevens, Publix is projecting for early in the fourth quarter.

“The City is pleased to have another major employer in the area to offer opportunities to our residents,” said city of Alachua Assistant City Manager Adam Boukari. “Economic development and job creation are a top priority of the city commission and the city administration and this is another example of the results produced.”

City of Alachua Mayor Gib Coerper said he is excited about store opening soon.

“I’ve been here for 41 years, and for 41 years, it’s been ‘when are we going to get Publix?’ and here we are, it’s 2015, and we are going to get a Publix,” he said.

Coerper said he thinks residents of Heritage Oaks which is located directly behind the marketplace have an advantage.

“Now they can walk to Publix,” he said.