Material Handling Management

TARGET Hits Bulls-Eye – Why Target Corporation Located at ITTC

2 January 2005

BAKERSFIELD, CALIF.-The Target Corporation, America’s fourth largest retailer, hit a bull’s-eye when it selected the Central California community of Shafter for a 1.7 million square foot distribution center. The community’s location in the state’s population center is ideal for logistics, but the company has also enjoyed unprecedented governmental cooperation and an outstanding workforce that’s already ahead of the curve in every efficiency category.

After only a few months operation, the Shafter facility is performing well ahead of all initial goals. Bob Grove, Human Resources and Development Manager with Target Distribution, credits the company’s early success to the local labor force’s strong work ethic. “The availability of a skilled, dedicated workforce enabled us to build a team that has exceeded all of our expectations.”

Shafter (pop. 13,211) is located in the southern end of California’s Central Valley, about 20 miles north of Bakersfield. The community’s aggressive economic development program has won over a number of major manufacturers, including Elk Corp., GMC Roofing Materials, and GAF Corp. In 1997, the city doubled its geographical size when it annexed land designated for the International Trade and Transportation Center, an industrial complex with free-trade status. Target selected a 132-acre ITTC site…

The region is highly attractive to companies who compete in the California marketplace. Strategically, Central California offers one-day turn around times throughout the state, as well as to parts of Nevada and Arizona. Target’s new distribution center, which is within minutes of the state’s two primary north/south transportation routes (I-5 and Highway 99), is within four hours of 35 million consumers.

Central California also offers an abundance of land and more favorable land and labor costs than more urbanized areas in the state. The job-to-applicant ratio gave the company true hiring flexibility. And while the facility was still under construction, the local Career Services Center set the company up with a human resources office, complete with staff, phones and advertising and screening assistance. Three local job fares produced a pool of 8,500 applicants for an initial hiring of 500 employees…

Quality of life issues were a top concern for Target. Communities’ boast of quality school systems and opportunities for higher learning are growing, as evidenced by the new UC Merced campus. Cultural activities vary from community to community, but include symphonies, theatres, botanical gardens, zoos, museums and extensive parks and recreational programs.

The nearby Sierra Mountain range offers proximity to unlimited recreational opportunities, from Yosemite to Sequoia National Park and beyond. Residents have easy access to fishing, camping, hiking, biking, rock climbing, white water rafting, winter sports and a host of other activities.