E-commerce giant Amazon Inc. started hiring this week to find more than 1,000 full-time employees in advance of the official launch of its fulfillment center in Kent County's Gaines Township.
The more than 855,000-thousand-square-foot warehouse is about 6 miles northwest of the Barry County line. It is the fourth fulfillment center in Michigan and the first outside the Detroit area.
“We begin hiring for our new fulfillment centers anywhere between 1 to 2 months prior to launch,” Amazon spokesman Andre Woodson said.
At the Gaines Township facility, at 4500 68th St. SE, Amazon employees will pick, pack and ship items, such as electronics, books, housewares and toys, to fulfill customers' orders, Woodson said.
Employees will receive a minimum wage of $15 per hour, he said, with full-time employees receiving benefits such as comprehensive health care from Day One, a 401(k) plan with a 50-percent match, and up to 20 weeks paid parental leave. Amazon’s Career Choice program pre-pays 95 percent of tuition for courses in high-demand fields, such as game design and visual communications, nursing, information technology programming and radiology.
Ground was broken in June 2018 for the $150 million facility. The company received an occupancy permit for the building last June.
State and local officials approved a series of tax incentives to help lure Amazon to West Michigan. They included a $4 million Michigan Business Performance grant toward construction of the fulfillment center, as well as local tax abatements that will cut the company's local property and school taxes by 50 percent over a 12-year period.
To be considered, job candidates must be 18 years or older and have a high school diploma or equivalent. All interested candidates should apply online at http://www.amazon.com/grandrapidsjobs where they can indicate a shift preference and select an appointment time to attend an upcoming hiring event and orientation. Shift schedules will vary. Veterans and military spouses are being encouraged to apply.