The world's largest e-commerce company is embarking on a nationwide holiday hiring binge that includes plans to add 1,000 employees at its sprawling Akron Amazon Fulfillment Center on Romig Road.
The company intends to add 150,000 workers across the U.S. — a number roughly equal to the adult population of Akron — in what has become an annual feeding frenzy for new employees. About 8,000 jobs are available throughout Ohio, the company said.
Currently, the Akron center employs about 5,000 people at the 2.5 million-square-foot facility, built at the site of the former Rolling Acres Mall.
Mike Boorstein, Amazon General Manager at the Akron center, said in an email that taking a seasonal job with the company can result in short- and long-term benefits for a new employee.
Often, he said, seasonal workers become permanent, full-time employees eligible for company benefits. The company is also known for promoting from within.
John Felton, Amazon’s senior vice president of Worldwide Operations, said in the company's announcement that 20,000 employees have been promoted within the company this year.
Boorstein said a variety of entry-level positions are available, from picking, packing and shipping, to supporting network logistics.
"People can earn extra money during the holiday season, and employees who choose to stay will also find a lot of opportunities to grow their careers at Amazon," he said.
From failed mall to thriving center
The location's current employment and holiday hiring plans are part of a dramatic turnaround for a property that sat idle for years after the demise of Rolling Acres Mall. In September 2020, as the center was under construction, the company put the call out for 1,500 employees and kept hiring.
Combined, the 5,000 employees and 1,000 seasonal additions at the Akron site would be larger than several Summit County villages and at least one city, Reminderville, which boasts a population of about 5,400 residents.
A difficult hiring environment
In an announcement detailing its hiring plans, the company said it plans to invest more that $1 billion in "additional" pay in the next year, raising the average compensation of employees nationwide to more than $19 per hour.
The company's effort to hire more workers comes at a time when U.S. unemployment remains low and the labor force participation rate — which measures the percentage of people who can work who aren't looking for jobs — is significantly lower than before the coronavirus pandemic.
At the same time, many economists believe the nation is in or headed into a recession while combatting stubborn inflation.
The labor climate is so difficult that Amazon is offering $3,000 bonuses in "select locations" of the country. The company didn't specify which states' workers would receive the largest bonuses, but included a list that ranged from California to Texas to Michigan. Ohio wasn't on the list.
Interested candidates can see positions in Akron and all U.S. regions at www.amazon.com/apply.
The 150,000 seasonal figure tops worker needs in previous years. In September 2021, the company announced plans to hire 125,000 seasonal workers; in September 2020, it was 100,000.
Worldwide, the company employs more than 1.6 people, more than double the 750,000 it reached just three years ago.
"Holidays are a great time for seasonal employees to join our team," Boorstein said.
Leave a message for Alan Ashworth at 330-996-3859 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @newsalanbeaconj.
This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: Amazon wish list: 1,000 seasonal employees in Akron, 150,000 in U.S.