Thousands of people were at the Janesville Conference Center Saturday looking to become the next Dollar General employee.

The company held a meet-and-greet from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday for potential candidates to network and learn more about the available jobs. Dollar General is looking to hiring about 550 employees to work in the new distribution center that’s being built in Janesville.

“It’s definitely a large turnout,” Distribution Center Director Matt Lucas said. “We’re excited about the opportunity that we’re able to get in front of people and get to share the information with them.”

Lucas said more people came to the event than he was expecting.

“The event started at 10, and we had people here as early as 7 a.m. So we’re seeing around about 1,000 per hour,” he said.

The economic development director for Janesville was also blown away by the number of people who showed up.

“This was an amazing turnout, much more than I really expected,” Gale Price said.

Potential candidates visited booths and spoke with company leaders that will be working in the Janesville distribution center.

“I think it’s the best job that’s been around here in a long time,” Timothy Tulpo said, who attended the job fair.

Lucas said the company had already started interviewing people for administration positions and, in the next few weeks, will start interviewing for warehouse positions.

Price said the new distribution center will create 554 jobs over three years.

"People are excited because there are some good opportunities for job growth that maybe they haven't had in the past," he said.

Construction workers were still working on parts of the distribution center Saturday. Lucas said the building should be finished by December.

“We’re really looking to bring that first group on in late the late November, early December time frame,” Lucas said.

People who weren’t able to make it to the hiring fair Saturday can still apply for jobs at the distribution center online at the company's website.