Home Depot betting on home improvement growth

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Home Depot plans to hire 80,000 seasonal workers nationwide this year. That's ten thousand more than last year. The company is confident more homeowners will invest in home improvement this year. Is it a sign of an improving economy?

You name it, Linda Mills and her family are re-doing it in the house they just bought.

"We're painting the entire house, inside and out, I'm the painter," Linda showed us.

Electrical work, insulation, patching plaster, "kitchen renovation and retiling and all kinds of stuff," she added. "It's a good thing he's very handy."

They're investing thousands in this fixer-upper, even though the economy is still far from fixed up.

"I'm certainly a lot more comfortable with the economy than I was a few years ago," said Linda.

The Home Depot is betting on seeing more families like the Mills come through its doors this year.

"I would say we're betting pretty big that the season is going to be a lot bigger this year than it was last year," said local Home Depot store manager T. J. Harris.

Forbes Magazine is, too, estimating the demand for home improvement products will rise 2% to 3% over the next few years, due to a rise in construction permits and new home sales.

We asked Harris what makes a great Home Depot candidate.

"The better the availability, the more openings we have. Especially weekend coverage is what we really look for. And then nights and evenings," he told us.

Harris says they're looking for workers with garden and home improvement knowledge and great customer service. The jobs are part-time and temporary, but he says they often keep their best associates.

"We have a lot of people who start as a part time temp. We keep them on and they get promoted and they move on with the company," Harris added.

Home Depot will need them if more families like the Mills decide this is the year that home investment makes a comeback.

"We saw some (houses) that weren't going to require so much work, but after we saw this house, we wanted this house," said Linda.

To apply for a job at Home Depot, simply go to their website careers.homedepot.com. The website also has a skills navigator that helps veterans match their skills with Home Depot jobs.

Copyright 2013 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.