Amazon has 6,000 jobs in Chicago but job fair got low attendance
Amazon is hiring more than 6,000 seasonal, part- and full-time employees at its fulfillment centers and delivery facilities in the Chicago area, but a north suburban job fair it conducted Tuesday failed to draw large crowds.
Several of the applicants that trickled into the hiring event seemed underwhelmed by the opportunities available.
Kaitlin Smith, 22, of Mundelein, currently works as a sales associate at a clothing store. Smith said she would be happy with seasonal Amazon work for now, but hopes to put her college degree to work in a management role long term.
Smith applied for an Amazon warehouse associate position, saying she is confident she can meet a requirement that she be able to lift 70 pounds and bend and kneel. “I can totally do it,” Smith said.
But Elizabeth Schule, 30, of Carpentersville, opted not to complete the full application Tuesday after learning there were no openings that would work for her.
“All the jobs that they had were both seasonal and part-time, and too far away from my house,” said Schule, who is currently unemployed. Schule said she might apply for a seasonal delivery job in Elgin, but worried that she might not meet the physical requirements.
Gregory Drake, 64, a financial adviser from Northbrook, stopped by the hiring event to explore what he hoped might be an opportunity for post-retirement employment. Drake applied for a warehouse position, but expressed second thoughts about the potential career shift as he was leaving.
“After looking at the options, it’s probably not something I would do,” he said.
The job fair comes about a week after the e-commerce giant pledged to raise the minimum wage for its associates to $15 an hour. Subsequently, however, Amazon said it would eliminate monthly bonuses and stock awards for warehouse workers.
The company operates 10 fulfillment and delivery centers in the Chicago area. It also has four campus pick-up locations, an Amazon Books store and several other facilities. It employs more than 12,000, full-time workers at those locations, said Amazon spokeswoman Amanda Ip.
Amazon is looking for candidates that are at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or equivalent. If candidates could not attend the job fair Tuesday, they can apply for jobs online. Ip said Amazon would be hiring in the area throughout the holiday season.
Target announced Tuesday that it will hold seasonal hiring events at its stores in the Chicago area and around the country on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm. The retailer plans to hire 8,000 seasonal workers for its 84 Chicago-area stores and 290 seasonal workers for its DeKalb distribution center.
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