Amazon adding 2,000 new jobs in Ruskin and Lakeland


August 3, 2015



 
Justine Griffin
Tampa Bay Times story link here
 
Amazon is adding 2,000 new jobs at its Florida fulfillment centers in Ruskin and Lakeland, which will more than double the company’s current workforce in Florida in less than a year.
 
The online retailer employs more than 2,000 people at its two distribution centers in the state already, according to an announcement from Gov. Rick Scott’s office. Amazon has been hiring more people in Florida throughout the year.
 
“Amazon’s decision to locate in Florida was a major win for our economy, and these additional 2,000 jobs further demonstrate the strength of Florida’s workforce and business climate,” said Florida Secretary of Commerce and President of Enterprise Florida, Bill Johnson. “These additional jobs in Ruskin and Lakeland are incredibly important for those regions as well as the state overall. We appreciate Amazon’s continued commitment to Florida and thank them for the tremendous impact they’re making across the state.”
 
On Tuesday, more than 1,400 people applied for jobs at Amazon through a job fair hosted by the The Helen Gordon Davis Centre for Women, said executive director Ann Madsen. It was the second time in a year that the Centre had hosted a job fair with Amazon.
 
“Amazon’s rapid growth at its Ruskin distribution center is another indicator of Hillsborough County’s desirability as a business destination for some of the top brands in the world,” said Rick Homans, President and CEO of the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp. “The EDC and our partners at Hillsborough County, Hillsborough Community College, and CareerSource Tampa Bay are committed to supporting them as they grow and look forward to their continued expansion in this market.”
 
Amazon will host another job fair on Aug. 28 at Hillsborough Community College’s South Shore Campus in the new science building from 8:30 a.m. to noon and from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Interested applicants can apply on site.
 
“In May, Amazon announced that we were doubling the size of our operational capacity and after construction, alluded to the fact that hundreds of new jobs would be available in the future,” said Nina Lindsey, a spokeswoman with Amazon. “Now we’re excited to announce that we’re hiring 2,000 people for jobs in both centers.”
 
The company finished construction on the 1.1 million-square-foot fulfillment center in Ruskin in September and hired more than 1,000 workers to run it. The $200 million facility is located at 3350 Laurel Ridge Ave., near Interstate 75 and State Road 674 in southern Hillsborough County.
 
The center is 10 times the size of the average Home Depot. It has shipped millions of packages since opening late last year.
 
The jobs available include picking, packing and shipping customer orders. All Amazon employees are eligible for benefits like health insurance, a 401(k) program with a 50 percent match, bonuses and stock rewards the day they start working. Amazon will also pre-pay 95 percent of tuition for courses related to in-demand career fields, regardless if the field is relevant to jobs at Amazon.
 
 
“We have worked hard to create a pro-business environment that encourages growth and innovation so companies like Amazon can succeed,” Scott said in a statement.
 
The Hillsborough County Commission approved $6.4 million in property tax breaks over seven years for Amazon in 2013. The county also offered another $1.1 million to attract high-wage jobs in a partnership with the state.
 
Contact Justine Griffin at jgriffin@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8467. Follow @SunBizGriffin.

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