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Hundreds of seasonal jobs available in Southwest VA, part of 300,000 available nationwide

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ROANOKE (WSLS 10)-- The holidays are still months away, but seasonal hiring is about to go into high gear. Together, UPS, Target, Macy's and Kohl's have announced plans to hire more than 300,000 seasonal workers over the next three months-- big news for the 4.9% of Americans that are currently unemployed.

Whether it's dealing with all of the shoppers or delivering packages to homes-- the businesses that get busiest at the end of the year are getting their seasonal employees on board early. The majority of these seasonal positions are expected t be filled by mid-to-late November. That's why experts say now is the time to start applying.

"Go places where you shop, a lot of stores like to hire their customers," says Julie Wheeler, President of the Better Business Bureau of Western Virginia. "They already know the product, so it cuts back on training. They're already passionate about the product because they are a customer. Just be flexible, because the hours will be filling in for full-time people who want the holidays off."

UPS is preparing for an extremely busy season-- hiring more than 95,000 seasonal workers. The majority of the positions available are drivers or package handlers-- and about a third of those seasonal jobs can lead to a full-time career. As of September 29, there are at least six jobs available in the Roanoke Valley, two positions open in Lynchburg and additional positions in Danville, Christiansburg and Bedford.

Macy's is expecting a lot of shoppers this winter and has announced plans to hire 83,000 seasonal workers to keep things running smoothly through the end of the year. There's an in-store hiring event taking place Friday, September 30-- at stores nationwide. The event runs from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. and you need to fill out an application here before you go.

Target is also expecting big sales over the next few months, with 70,000 seasonal positions opening up. Target will be holding in-store hiring events on October 14 and 15 from noon to 6 p.m. If you can't wait that long-- the online application process is open now, you can apply here. The Target stores in Roanoke, Christiansburg, Danville and Lynchburg all currently have positions open.

Kohl's has announced it will be hiring 69,000 seasonal workers this holiday season. Toys-R-Us will be holding an in-store hiring event on October 10 and 11 at stores across the nation. Wal-Mart and FedEx are also expected to announce a big increase of seasonal employees in the next few weeks.