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Heather Vance picks items from a row of shelves to fill orders on Cyber Monday at the Amazon Fulfillment Center in the Enterprise South Industrial Park in Chattanooga, Tenn., on Monday, December 1, 2014.

Marissa Johnson had worked for Amazon before, and she's looking at rejoining the online retailing giant as the company bolsters its Chattanooga workforce by at least 400 more people.

"I like the speed of it," the Chattanooga woman said Wednesday about an earlier stint as a picker. "I don't mind walking."

Amazon is hiring to fill the full-time jobs at its city distribution center to meet growing customer demand, said Amazon spokeswoman Nina Lindsey.

"The new full-time positions are in addition to the hundreds of seasonal associates the facility has converted into regular, full-time roles following the holiday season," she said.

Amazon said its full-time headcount at the Chattanooga center is between 2,500 and 3,000 employees.

The nation's No. 1 Internet retailer also employs at least 500 people at its fulfillment center in Bradley County.

Lindsey said the hourly slots will pick, pack and ship customer orders. Pay is up to $11.75 per hour, according to Amazon. Employees also are eligible for employee health and other benefits from their first day, Lindsey said.

Charles Wood, the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce's vice president for economic development, said that Amazon is one of the fastest-growing companies in the United States and the business group played a role in its recruitment in 2011.

Wood said he's "excited about their continuing growth trends" in the region.

The Chamber worked with the city and Hamilton County in wooing the Internet business. Wood recalled that in order to land Amazon, they convinced nearby Volkswagen to release about 80 acres from VW's option property to accommodate the more than 1 million-square-foot facility.

Amazon invested about $139 million in its Chattanooga and Bradley County centers. It also has built centers in Murfreesboro and Lebanon, Tenn. The company has opened a sortation center in Nashville.

Amazon had hired several thousand seasonal employees in the Volunteer State over the Christmas holidays.

Earlier this year, Amazon reported a strong holiday season as fourth-quarter sales increased 15 percent to $29.3 billion.

For the quarter, the company posted earnings of $214 million, or 45 cents per share. While that was off from the previous year, it was more than the 18 cents that Wall Street analysts were expecting.

Just last month, the company opened its first-ever staffed pick-up and drop-off location on the campus of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. Students can place store orders via Amazon Student, an already existing service that provides free shipping, and they receive email or text notification when their orders arrive.

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

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