Amazon announced Monday that it will hire 5,000 more employees to staff its distribution centers nationwide, including the facilities being built in Patterson and Tracy.
Amazon said the hiring bump represents a 25 percent increase in its overall work force. The company has more than 20,000 full-time employees in its U.S. fulfillment centers. The positions will be full-time jobs responsible for stocking, picking, packing and shipping merchandise for customer orders.
In June, Amazon began hiring for its new 1 million-square-foot center in Patterson, which will handle larger items such as appliances and furniture. Earlier this month, it began hiring for its same-size center in Tracy, which will specialize in smaller items such as DVDs, books and compact discs.
Amazon spokeswoman Kelly Cheeseman said hiring continues for both facilities.
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"Hiring is going great," she said. "We are still actively recruiting for hundreds of open positions in Tracy and Patterson."
Cheeseman would not specify how many of the 5,000 additional nationwide jobs would be headed to either Northern San Joaquin Valley facility. The Tracy site is expected to have more than 1,000 jobs when it opens, and Cheeseman said Patterson will have "hundreds and hundreds."
Patterson Mayor Luis Molina said he does not know how many more jobs the hiring push will bring to the valley.
"We're getting jobs here in the hundreds and hundreds, and any more they can put in is always better," Molina said. "Also, the seasonal push will allow people to get a second job (for the holidays). It used to be Sears and Macy's where people went, and now it's online retailers."
Molina said he recently took a tour of the massive Patterson warehouse. He said some equipment has been installed inside as work continues on the interior and exterior of the building.
The Patterson center is expected to open in late summer or early fall, and the Tracy site should make its debut shortly after that. Both are planned to be open by the holiday shopping season. The centers are the second and third to open in California.
Rapid growth at south state center
The first California fulfillment center opened in San Bernardino in October with more than 600 positions and now has more than 1,000 jobs.
The bulk of the positions at the fulfillment centers are for warehouse floor workers, called "fulfillment associates" by Amazon. All the fulfillment associate jobs start at $13.50 per hour and include benefits — among them health care, vision, dental, a 401(k) and a stock program.
Fulfillment associate positions are open to those 18 and older and require at least a high school diploma or equivalent. Other basic qualifications include the ability to read and take direction in English and the fitness to lift, walk and climb. Employees must pass a background check and drug screening.
All hiring for the Patterson and Tracy facilities is being done exclusively online. Those interested in positions can apply, check their status and find more information at www.workatamazonfulfillment.com.