Amazon.com Inc. hires 3.3k+ Virginians, more to come
The e-commerce giant announced Thursday it will add 75k more jobs on top of already promised 100k.
Amazon.com Inc. has hired more than 3,300 employees in Virginia to meet the increased demand for home deliveries during the coronavirus crisis, the e-commerce giant announced Thursday. The hirings are part of Amazon’s initiative to create more than 100,000 full- and part-time jobs in the U.S. in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s also more than double the number of Virginia jobs Amazon had anticipated to fill in mid-March.
The company also announced Thursday that it plans to create an additional 75,000 jobs on top of the previously announced 100,000, and it’s expected that 2,000 of those jobs will be filled in Virginia.
“The demand we are seeing for essential products has been and remains high,” Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in his letter to shareholders released Thursday. “But unlike a predictable holiday surge, this spike occurred with little warning, creating major challenges for our suppliers and delivery network.”
Amazon operates a total of 10 fulfillment and sorting facilities in Ashland, Chester, Frederick County, Dinwiddie County, Richmond, Springfield and Sterling. On March 10, Amazon announced plans to build two additional facilities in Hampton Roads, creating an anticipated 1,500 jobs. And construction began earlier this year in Arlington County on Amazon’s $2.5 billion HQ2 East Coast headquarters, which is expected to add 25,000 jobs and more than 8 million square feet of development to the Crystal City, Pentagon City and Potomac Yard areas.
The new Amazon hires in Virginia will fill a variety of positions, including picking, packing and shipping customer orders and groceries, and delivering packages, Amazon spokesperson Rachael Lighty says. The jobs in Virginia will be at Amazon’s fulfillment and sorting centers, delivery stations and Whole Foods Markets stores, she added.
“Many of these new employees were impacted by layoffs related to COVID-19 and come from a variety of fields and life situations, including restaurant cooks, bartenders and servers, flight attendants, teachers, business owners, personal trainers, valet drivers, ride-share drivers, retirees, part-time workers whose jobs are now on hold, and people who just wanted to help out,” Lighty says.
The jobs are available on a rolling basis — and they’re expected to be filled quickly, according to an Amazon spokesperson. Jobs start with a minimum pay of $17 per hour as well as health benefits, overtime and paid time off. This reflects a $2 hourly increase that will cost Amazon $500 million just through the end of April.
“While we recognize this is expensive, we believe it’s the right thing to do under the circumstances,” Bezos said.
To abide by COVID-19 restrictions, new Amazon employees can attend orientation sessions virtually. Amazon employees might be expected in the future to adhere to COVID-19 testing at their work sites, even for those who show no symptoms, Bezos said.