The Home Depot Inc. (HD) plans to hire about 15,000 new associates during the spring season, the company said Monday.

The spring season is the "key hiring season" for the world's largest home improvement store chain, according to a company news release. The chain also added 15,000 new jobs in 2006, said spokesman Tony Wilbert.

The Atlanta-based chain is hiring full-time, part-time and seasonal associates for positions that include sales, night operations, specialty departments, cashiers and lot attendants.

The push includes plans to hire 2,500 people in Atlanta, 2,400 in Los Angeles, 2,300 in Washington and 2,000 in Chicago, Wilbert said.

It is focusing on hiring skilled workers for its electrical, plumbing, millwork and professional contracting departments in markets around the company.

"To continuously improve the customer experience in our stores, The Home Depot must attract job candidates with skills on which our customers depend," the company said.