Amazon won’t be opening a new highly automated fulfillment center in Loveland in the next few months, but when it does, it will need more than 1,000 full-time and part-time jobs.
In a worker-starved area, that might be a tough question, but Amazon has the right strategy for staffing its 3.5 million-square-foot robotic fulfillment center just south of the Northern Colorado Regional Airport. , I’m sure there are salaries and benefits.
Amazon conducts a “thorough labor analysis” in every region it opens a facility in, and northern Colorado is no exception, said Sam Bailey, economic development policy manager for Amazon’s Mountain West region. increase. In addition to Loveland, the company has its sights set on Larimer and Weld counties, Wyoming and the Denver metropolitan area.
“This is one of the most complex facilities.
According to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, the unemployment rate in Larimar County was 2.9% in October, well below the statewide unemployment rate of 3.5%.
Amazon hasn’t set wages for Larimer County yet, but the average hourly wage is about $19, Bailey said, with full benefits from day one for employees looking to earn a high school diploma and earn a GED. Tuition fees are reimbursed through the Career Choice Program for Earn an associate’s or bachelor’s degree or a certificate in various areas or proficiency in English as a second language.
Kelly Jones, Loveland’s director of economic development, said she was most excited about the career choice program at the facility. she said. “We’re getting some heat from the local[employer]but based on buying habits in the area, this facility was going to be within 3-5 miles of our current location.
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According to Adam Crow, economic development manager for Larimer County’s Department of Economics and Workforce Development, staffing is a major concern among existing employers who are worried they will lose their already-short workforce. , has raised some concerns.
“If you look at the labor market and the generational shift over the years, the baby boomers are retiring and there aren’t as many workers to replace them as they used to,” Crow said. “That’s putting pressure on the labor market. .”
Whether Amazon comes along or not, all employers are having trouble finding workers, he said.
Quite a few people have decided to take non-traditional jobs during the pandemic. Some are driving for ride-booking services, others have temporary jobs, and others have decided to start their own businesses.
Crowe said there is data suggesting that the proportion of people in non-traditional jobs has risen from 20% or 25% to over 35%. “Not only are there fewer people to attract, people are choosing different options,” he said. They are more concerned with flexibility, the ability to set their own hours or take time off to take their children to the doctor.
Crowe said there is also data suggesting they are willing to rejoin the traditional workforce for decent wages and flexibility. “Meeting people where they are is very attractive to people, especially those looking for promotion opportunities. It’s very attractive for… to play and talk.”
Amazon is likely to pull some people out of the nontraditional workforce and “can attract people from their current jobs,” Crow said. “It will come from those two places. .”
He expects Amazon to fill 1,000 jobs in Northern Colorado. “It might take a little longer…but they’ll probably get there.”
Amazon reached out to Larimar’s Workforce Center and said, “We are ready and pleased to help them with their staffing,” Crowe said.
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He also hears concerns from smaller hospitality and retail employers about Amazon hiring some workers and further increasing wages in the region. “There are concerns,” he said. “We don’t yet know if that will happen. This could cause concern and create some challenges, but we don’t yet know what it is.”
Amazon hired 2,500 people last year at its Colorado Springs facility, which is roughly the size of its new Loveland facility, as it strives to expand its presence to get products to customers as quickly as possible. This massive fulfillment center relies on robots for tasks such as moving shelves, as well as workers to reduce the time it takes to pack orders.
Bailey said the hiring process will begin “a few months before the facility opens.” However, since the recruitment date is undecided, the start date of recruitment is undecided.
Bailey said the company posts jobs on its own and other recruiting websites, conducts in-person job fairs, and liaises with county and state workforce development teams. There is also a virtual opportunity for an interested person to see what his day in the fulfillment center looks like.