Darrel Johnson, Minot
I started my career at Walmart corralling carts, which was perfect for a college student needing some spending money. After I graduated from Minot State University in 1995, I was offered the opportunity to advance my career by joining the Walmart management program. For the next 14 years, I was able to further my experience at different stores in North Dakota, Michigan and Minnesota. Eventually, I was able to settle down with my wife and five children back in my hometown of Minot, where I'm now the store manager of our Walmart, and could not be more proud of the company I work for.
Now Minot is considering a second store here. We already know Walmart will offer jobs and low prices, that's a given. What's more, a second location will actually relieve congestion and improve the shopping experience at our existing Minot store as it will serve as a more convenient destination for folks who live and work close by. But what some people don't appreciate is that a new Walmart store also will be a good corporate citizen and pitch in to help the surrounding community.
For example, in 2011, the Mouse River flood divided our town in half, leaving it nearly impossible for those located on the north side to access food and basic household goods. At that time, Walmart played a role in helping people get back on their feet from donating $125,000 to the local Red Cross and $75,000 to the Salvation Army to delivering semi-trucks with bottled water to ensure our neighbors had basic necessities.
I was proud of my company for stepping up in a time of need.
I was born and raised in the beautiful city of Minot. I understand that we are a rare, tight-knit community filled with good people. I know that the company I work for, Walmart, genuinely cares about the well-being of its associates and the residents of this community. I hope that readers will keep an open mind about the proposed store. I am confident it will be a valuable addition to Minot.