4,300 seek Amazon jobs

4,300 seek Amazon jobs

May 19th, 2011 by Mike Pare in Business Around the Region

An employee works at an Amazon distribution center in Fernley, Nev. Contributed Photo

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The more than 4,300 applications Amazon received for jobs at two planned distribution centers in the first two days show how challenging the economy remains, an official says.

"Many people continue to be out of work," said J.Ed. Marston, the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce's vice president of marketing.

But Marston also said Amazon itself is one reason working for the company has received so much interest.

"Amazon is a world-class company with international name recognition," he said.

The Seattle-based online retailer reported the application number Wednesday.

Amazon plans to hire about 1,200 full-time workers and more than 2,000 part-timers at the Enterprise South industrial park site and another center in nearby Bradley County. It started taking applications for the bulk of its jobs Monday.

Company spokesman Travis Burk said that combined with three other potential distribution centers Amazon is considering, the company could create nearly 3,000 full-time jobs with another 4,000 seasonal posts.

The company could invest nearly $300 million in the state, according to Amazon.

Amazon is to invest about $139 million in the two Southeast Tennessee sites, which are to open this fall.

A majority of those hired at the centers would start at more than $10 an hour, according to Amazon. For permanent employees, Amazon offers variable cash pay for performance and some restricted shares of stock.