Grocery store chain Aldi, under pressure to say what's going to happen to up to 2,200 workers at 66 less-than-five-year-old Bottom Dollar groceries in Pennsylvania, NJ, Ohio, that the German-owned chain bought last month for $15 million, says it's looking for 50 store manager trainees "in the Lehigh Valley, Philly and South Jersey areas with salaries starting at $52,000" and "potential to earn $75,000 to $90,000 within one year," which Aldi says is "well above the industry standard."

The suburban Chicago-based chain will meet manager applicants for stores via CareerBuilder.com, and talk to live applicants:
-- In the Allentown-Bethlehem area and Quakertown, this Tues., Dec. 9, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., at Aldi, 1101 MacArthur Rd., Whitehall.
-- In Montgomery and Lower Bucks Counties and Philadelphia, apply Thurs.  Dec. 11, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., at Aldi, 550 S. Trooper Rd., Norristown
-- In South Jersey and Philadelphia, apply Thurs. Dec. 11, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., at Aldi, 3105 NJ Route 38, Mount Laurel.

Applicants must be 18+, with high school diploma or GED, available to work days and evenings Monday-Sunday, retail experience preferred, must be able to lift 45 pounds. "Staff working at least 20 hours a week receive full health insurance, dental coverage and 401K," says Aldi's. 

Still no word on Aldi's Bottom Dollar plans. On Friday, Sen. Robert P. Casey, D-Pa., sent this letter to Aldi President Jason Hart:

I write today with regards to ALDI, Inc.'s recent purchase of the Bottom Dollar grocery store chain in Pennsylvania. There have been news reports that ALDI, Inc. will close all Bottom Dollar stores.

The closure of the Bottom Dollar stores will have a negative impact on the Commonwealth and could result in the loss of more than 1,600 jobs. With the holiday season upon us, I urge you to review this decision.

I have serious concerns about how this recent acquisition would affect the employees of the Bottom Dollar grocery stores. I encourage you to give serious consideration to any option that will protect the over 1,600 jobs at stake and preserve Bottom Dollar's current locations in the Commonwealth.

I look forward to any opportunity to work with you to develop these options, and any federal programs that may be relevant.

If there is any way that I can be of assistance to keep these jobs, please contact me or have the appropriate staff person contact my office. I appreciate your attention to this important matter.

Aldi responds (as it has before):

ALDI welcomes and encourages Bottom Dollar Food employees to consider applying for open positions at ALDI. For store associate positions, candidates simply need to stop in at any Aldi store in the greater Pittsburgh area or greater Philadelphia/New Jersey area and complete an application.

Additionally, applications are being accepted for positions at Aldi division warehouses located at 6000 N. Noah Drive in Saxonburg, Pa., and 2700 Saucon Valley Road in Center Valley, Pa.

Until the purchase of the Bottom Dollar Food real estate assets from Delhaize America is complete, it is premature to share any specific plans. After the transaction has closed, which is expected to occur by the end of the first quarter 2015, and Aldi has finalized our plans, we will communicate them as appropriate.