Inside Amazon’s fulfillment center in southeast Tucson, an army of inventory employees and supply chain managers keep an eye on the well-oiled shipment machines that push those light brown smiling boxes along. There are even robots that help grab orders and carry them from one destination to the next in the sprawling 850,000-square-foot facility.
But while robots and light assembly lines help to streamline the shipping, receiving, and overall logistical process of what goes on in an Amazon fulfillment center, one of a handful in Arizona that employs around 7,000 people, there’s still a need for human hands to make things work.
That’s why Amazon is expanding its supply chain and logistics footprint here in the state with its recent announcement touting more hiring at the fulfillment center and warehousing district.
According to Pima County officials, Amazon is looking to bring on nearly 3,000 employees to help prepare for the upcoming holiday season. The e-commerce giant shipped more than five billion items worldwide during the 2017 holiday season, and this year is expected to eclipse that, especially since Amazon offers one-day shipping for Prime members.
But the hiring of new employees won’t just be for temporary help through the holidays. Instead, Amazon is looking to expand its outlook on Arizona and Tucson, more specifically.
“There are a variety of factors that we take into account when deciding to launch a building such as customer demand, a dedicated and talented workforce and great local support – and we’ve found all of those in Tucson and surrounding communities,” said Zeshan Kazmi of Amazon Strategic Communications. “Our Tucson fulfilment center has given us the opportunity to create great jobs and we have been embraced with open arms in the community. We look forward to even more ways to better serve our customers, and our fulfillment center in Tucson allows us to reach more customers throughout Arizona.”
Pima County has been working hand-in-hand with the online retailer to fill positions at its new fulfillment center warehouses in the Tucson area. This round of employee hiring will see the current worker-base double to 3,000 employees after bringing on a projected 1,500 new Amazon workers.
At the facility, Amazon employees will help pick, pack, and ship items to customers. Mostly handling smaller items, like books, electronics, and consumer goods, employees will be integrated into Amazon’s tech-forward system that uses robots to move packages around the facility.
Amazon robots travel to various locations in fulfillment centers to pick up mobile shelves of product and deliver them to associates who are working at ergonomic workstations, according to Kazmi. When an Amazon robot arrives, associates will pick items off a shelf or stow them. Those items will then get packed and shipped to customers. Employees will also work with robots that help lift pallets of products to different floors of the fulfillment center to help move inventory around at quicker speeds.
“Amazon’s fulfillment center jobs are excellent jobs providing a great place to learn skills to start and further develop a career. There will be a variety of roles available within the Amazon fulfillment center in Tucson,” said Kazmi. “We work very closely with employees to ensure they find a role that they can excel in and enjoy.”
New employees will start out at $15 an hour and can take advantage of their eligibility for benefits like comprehensive health care, 401(k) with a 50 percent match, 20 weeks of paid parental leave, and 95 percent tuition reimbursement for employees studying in high-demand fields.