Amazon growing Chattanooga area workforce: Dozens here part of 5,000 more full-time jobs nationally

Amazon growing Chattanooga area workforce: Dozens here part of 5,000 more full-time jobs nationally

July 29th, 2013 by Mike Pare in Local Regional News

Juanita Taylor stocks the shelves at the Amazon Fulfillment Services facility in northern Bradley County near Charleston on Monday.

Photo by John Rawlston/Times Free Press.

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Internet giant Amazon plans to add dozens of full-time jobs at its Chattanooga and Charleston, Tenn., distribution centers as part of more than 5,000 slots it is creating nationally.

The Chattanooga center, which President Barack Obama will visit Tuesday, will add about 12 management and information technology posts and shift "dozens" of positions from part-time to full-time, the company said today.

More full-time jobs will be added in Charleston, as well, though that number wasn't immediately known.

Dave Clark, vice president of worldwide operations and customer service at Amazon, said in a statement that the aim is to "help us continue to innovate and serve our customers."

Hiring is slated to start immediately, according to Amazon. The jobs available across its fulfillment network include picking, packing and shipping customer orders. The jobs offer "competitive pay," a comprehensive benefits package, stock awards and bonuses.

Ron Harr, the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce chief executive, said Amazon has proved to be "an extraordinary partner" for Chattanooga and the state.

Harr said the jobs announcement is Amazon's second locally since the Seattle-based company was recruited less than three years ago.

In Chattanooga, Amazon employs about 1,800 full-time and 700 part-time workers. In Charleston, the company has more than 500 full-timers and 800 people in total. The Charleston center is hiring more than 50 full-time slots.

Amazon has built five distribution centers in Tennessee since 2011. The company says it has added more than 5,000 full-time and seasonal jobs in the Volunteer State - the largest by a private company in the past decade.

The company said the new positions will pay 30 percent more than traditional retail jobs. Amazon said it also offers employees programs like Career Choice, where it will prepay up to 95 percent of tuition for courses related to "in-demand fields," regardless of whether the skills are relevant to a career at Amazon.

Amazon said it employs more than 20,000 full-time workers in its U.S. fulfillment centers. In the past year, Amazon opened eight fulfillment centers in the U.S.

The company also is hiring for more than 2,000 jobs across its customer service network, which include a mix of full-time, part-time and seasonal positions, according to the company.

Contact Mike Pare at mpare@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6318.