KERNERSVILLE, N.C. — If you're looking for a job with Amazon, you may have an opportunity in Kernersville.
The e-commerce giant is looking to hire more than 1,000 full-time workers at its upcoming fulfillment center. The center is at 1656 Old Greensboro Road in Kernersville.
Employees will work to package and ship items to customers across the country. According to Amazon, the new employees will join more than 5,000 full-time employees already working across the state. The jobs will pay at least $15 an hour. The company offers full-time employees benefits, which include health, vision and dental insurance from day one, 401(k) with 50% company match, up to 20 weeks paid parental leave and Amazon’s innovative Career Choice program, which pre-pays 95% of tuition for courses in high-demand fields. Amazon said since the program launched four years ago, more than 25,000 employees have pursued degrees in game design and visual communications, nursing, IT programming and radiology. Amazon said it has also pledged to invest more than $700 million to provide upskilling training for 100,000 U.S. employees for in-demand jobs.
The news comes as hope for the Triad area, which is partly still holding higher unemployment rate than the national average, according to Chris Rivera with Guilford County Workforce Development.
In February before the pandemic, Guilford County held an unemployment rate of 4 percent. Rivera says the latest numbers from may show that the unemployment rate rose to 14.9 percent.
"Locally our unemployment rate is higher than the national average and still as high, if not higher, than it was during the great recession, this time 10 years ago," said Rivera.
Rivera said the vast majority of falling numbers nation-wide are due to furloughed staff returning to work. Some young adults, ages 16-24, may just be entering the workforce and are struggling to find work, according to Rivera.
Rivera said another factor playing into people's concern of returning to work is COVID-19. "Young adults are afraid of catching COVID-19 and spreading it to family members. So while some jobs are opening right now as workers do not return to their jobs, it is not necessarily because they found something else. They may have chosen not to return to work," he said.
Amazon also said it will take precautions to protect employees from the coronavirus.
"We are doing everything we can to keep our employees as safe as possible as we prepare for the launch. In fact, across our operations, Amazon has invested more than $4 billion from June to April on COVID19 related safety measures. This includes spending more than $800 million in the first half of this year on safety measures like temperature checks, masks, enhanced cleaning, gloves, and sanitation stations, to name a few. In these unprecedented times, Amazon remains committed to the health and safety of our employees, partners, and the customers we serve," the company said in a release.
Candidates must be 18 years or older and have a high school diploma or equivalent to be considered. Interested candidates can apply online.
More unemployment facts and data for Guilford County:
- Guilford County went from 10,000 unemployed workers in February of 2020 to approximately 37,000 unemployed workers in May 2020.
- Nearly 40,000 residents in Guilford County have filed unemployment claims.
- Federal CARES Act benefits will end July 31.
While many more jobs are being brought to Guilford County through companies like Amazon, Rivera said as unemployment benefits end for individuals, competition for these jobs will ramp up.
"They should start looking now," said Rivera, "Anyone currently unemployed should consider starting their job search now to find something before the labor pool grows."