updated 9/18/2006 11:26:31 AM ET 2006-09-18T15:26:31

The Home Depot Inc., the nation’s largest home improvement store chain, says it is hiring more than 1,000 new employees across the country as part of its latest effort to improve its stores.

The Atlanta-based company said in a hiring advisory it issued Monday that it is seeking in particular applicants with specialty, skilled trades and professional contracting backgrounds for full-time and part-time jobs in numerous departments.

The hiring is part of Home Depot’s plan to invest another $350 million in its stores during the second half of this year, as it tries to improve customer service amid a slowing economy.

Last month, the company said it would cut 300 jobs at its headquarters as it makes the store reinvestment program a priority.

Home Depot has about 355,000 employees and more than 2,000 stores in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Home Depot shares fell in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

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