Inc. said Monday it is looking to hire 3,600 people to fill new jobs in its warehouses and delivery stations across Michigan, part of 100,000 positions the company is seeking to fill across the United States and Canada.

The online retail giant’s need for permanent full- and part-time hires is a result of company growth, said Ofori Agboka, vice president of human resources for Global Customer Fulfillment at Amazon. There are currently 13,500 Amazon jobs in Michigan.

“Our business model is predicated on customer demand and our customers want their product,” he said. “And we’re fortunate and blessed to have this opportunity to be a job creator to employ people who are furloughed, laid off, military vets. Anybody that’s looking to do something different.”

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The Amazon Romulus Fulfillment Center. (Photo: Todd McInturf, The Detroit News)

The promise of new jobs comes as Michigan is struggling with the continuing aftershocks of the COVID-19 pandemic that has totaled more than 111,500 cases across the state and claimed nearly 6,600 lives. Michigan’s jobless rate peaked in April at 22.7%, but has been receding in recent months as Gov. Gretchen Whitmer reopens more sectors of the state economy.

Amazon’s hiring announcement is good news for the Michigan economy, said Robert Dye, chief economist at Comerica Bank: “Amazon’s growth in these difficult times shows what economists mean by ‘creative destruction.’

“Recessions, including the one we are in now, are periods of rapid change in the economy. Amazon is clearly on the favorable side of the accelerated creative destruction that we are now seeing in the economy. Amazon’s expansion in Michigan will provide jobs to thousands of workers who will spend their paychecks in Michigan, supporting their local and regional economies and their local and state tax bases.”

The starting wage is $15 per hour, and Amazon is offering sign-on bonuses for some positions ranging from $250 to $1,000, company officials said. Other benefits include health, vision and dental insurance from the first day, 401(k) with 50% company match, up to 20 weeks paid parental leave and the prepayment of 95% of tuition for courses in high-demand fields through Amazon’s innovative Career Choice program. 

Amazon’s job expansion comes as it grows its company presence in southeast Michigan. Amazon has fulfillment and sortation centers in Livonia, Shelby Charter Township, Romulus and Brownstown Township. There are also delivery stations in Romulus, Wixom, Hazel Park and one that opened its doors in Sterling Heights last week.

Last month, Amazon announced that it plans to acquire more than 25,000 square feet of office space in Detroit for 100 new high-tech positions. 

Otie McKinley, spokesman for the Michigan Economic Development Corp., said the agency applauds Amazon’s ongoing investments in Michigan.  

“The state’s premier supply chain assets and skilled talent pool make Michigan a prime Midwest distribution center,” he said. “Amazon has been a great business partner with Michigan and we look forward to their continued successes here in the state.”

Among the jobs posted Monday were for warehouse team members in Troy, Romulus, Livonia and Shelby Township and delivery station liaisons in Hazel Park and Romulus.

“Some of the positions that immediately come to mind are stock, packers, but beyond those type of roles we have many opportunities in training, quality engineering, HR-related so these opportunities can be expansive,” Agboka said. “We want people that are committed.”

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