As Holidays Approach, Amazon Gives Employees a Pat on the Back
As retailers hire seasonal workers for the holiday shopping season — and as some retail workers continue to hope for more pandemic pay — Amazon is touting its own progress with tens of thousands of its employees. The Amazon announcement comes as the online retailer faces ongoing pressure from workers, activists and politicians about conditions in its warehouses and its pandemic-safety efforts.
Amazon said it has promoted more than 35,000 operations employees in 2020, that 30,000 employees have taken advantage of Amazon’s Career Choice program — an educational and job skills program — and that it’s creating an additional 100,000 seasonal jobs.
With more than 12 million Americans out of work, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Amazon said that these new seasonal roles in several locations across the United States and Canada will complement its regular full- and part-time positions.
“At Amazon, we believe in providing our employees with great jobs and better futures. We’re proud to see our employees grow through promotions to the next level at Amazon and also through programs like Career Choice, which help them pursue careers in high-demand fields,” said Alicia Boler Davis, Amazon’s VP of global customer fulfillment. “These 35,000 newly promoted Amazonians came from a variety of backgrounds, and many started in seasonal jobs like we’re announcing today. They have made a big impact for our customers and contributed to a positive and safe work environment, and we’re thrilled to congratulate them on their next step.”
Amazon said it has invested more than $60 million in Career Choice, a program designed to help people who are interested in pursuing a future in a high-demand field gain the necessary skills. With more than half of participants from underrepresented minority groups, the program offers courses covering 20 career paths, including computer support specialist, web developer, nurse, aircraft mechanic, commercial trucker, paralegal/legal assistant, IT security assistant, and network technician. Amazon has partnered with more than 85 education partners and community colleges in the United States and continues to grow its educator network.
“Career Choice is one way we help people think big about their careers, and we offer training across a wide variety of skills needed for high-demand fields,” said Darcie Henry, VP of global HR for Amazon Operations. “We’re excited for the 30,000 people who have already participated in the program to continue contributing to their communities and creating better futures for their families. And we hope that number will continue to grow — people hired today could be the Career Choice graduates of tomorrow.”
Amazon said it will hire more than 100,000 additional people in seasonal roles for its peak season. Many job locations also include bonus holiday incentives.