CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — Amazon is trying to fill 2,200 seasonal positions in Hampton Roads, with sign-on bonuses up to $3,000, as it looks to attract workers ahead of the holiday season in a tight labor market.
The part-time positions have an average starting pay of $18 per hour (minimum $15) with another $3 per hour depending on shifts at certain locations. Amazon has about 3,700 seasonal jobs total in Virginia and 150,000 across the U.S.
“We are proud to be offering a huge range of full-time, part-time, and now seasonal jobs with great pay and benefits,” said Alicia Boler Davis, Amazon senior vice president, in a press release. “Our seasonal hiring helps us deliver on our promises to customers while also providing flexibility to our full-time employees during busy periods. Joining Amazon in one of our seasonal roles offers high-paying, part-time work, or a path to a full-time position, with benefits like our Career Choice program to help people advance their education and careers within Amazon or beyond.”
Other retailers such as Target and Walmart are also offering bonuses and other perks to attract workers, as the number of jobs exceeds the number of people unemployed, joining Amazon in offering free college tuition. Workers have taken notice and are pushing for more pay and benefits, with strikes happening across the U.S.
Warehouse workers told The Washington Post that even these incentives haven’t stopped employees from leaving the demanding jobs. Many reported having to work 60-hour workweeks during the holiday season to meet demand.
The hiring news comes just over a month after Amazon, the nation’s second-large private employer, announced it would add a new career center and two delivery stations to Hampton Roads. That gives Amazon a footprint in Chesapeake, Suffolk, Norfolk, Hampton, and Virginia Beach.
Amazon opened a new delivery station in Norfolk in June. 10 On Your Side toured the facility on Monday, where employees work four 10 hour days. Their hours are 1:20 a.m. to 11:50 a.m. Not ideal, Site Manager Jay Lucado admits, but he said they make it a fun place to work and the incentives are attractive.
The facility is a delivery station, so it stocks no merchandise. Workers take in products from fulfillment centers throughout the East Coast, sort them by neighborhood and pack them onto vans for delivery.
Senior Staffing Manager Ricky Dering told WAVY they can hire within two weeks of a person applying online. “They go to the hiring event, I have them every day, they will get an I-9, a drug test and a background check and be given a contingent offer that day, and then within two weeks they can be working with Amazon at a site application,” he said.
Dering went on to say that he is confident Amazon, unlike some other businesses currently struggling to find workers, will have no trouble filling these jobs openings.
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