Hundreds show up for Amazon job fair in Ohio

Job seekers stood in line to apply for open positions at the Amazon distribution center in Etna, Ohio. Etna is about 20 minutes west of Columbus, Ohio. KARA DRISCOLL/STAFF
Job seekers stood in line to apply for open positions at the Amazon distribution center in Etna, Ohio. Etna is about 20 minutes west of Columbus, Ohio. KARA DRISCOLL/STAFF

Amazon is going on a major hiring spree, looking to fill more than 50,000 jobs this week — including more than 1,000 in a distribution center in Ohio.

The online mega-retailer, which held job fairs across the nation on Wednesday, was specifically looking to hire for roles within its U.S. fulfillment network.

Amazon opened its 10 fulfillment centers across the U.S. for candidates to take a tour and learn more about working at Amazon — including the center in Etna, Ohio, which is about 20 minutes east of Columbus. Interested candidates waited in line to apply and take a tour at the facility, which opened about a year ago.

More than 500 candidates by 11 a.m. had applied and taken the tour of the Ohio facility.

» RELATED: Amazon to hire for more than 50,000 jobs this week, including in Ohio

“We’re excited to be creating great jobs that offer highly-competitive wages, benefits starting on day one and the chance for employees to go back to school through our Career Choice program,” said John Olsen, vice president of Amazon’s Worldwide Operations Human Resources.

The Columbus-are facility is the second fulfillment center in Ohio, opening immediately after the first center in Obetz, Ohio. Amazon also has Prime Now sites in Columbus, Cincinnati and Valley View, as well as campus locations at the University of Akron and the University of Cincinnati.

Amazon, which has more than 5,000 full-time employees in Ohio, is looking to hire about 1,400 at the Etna location. The center has more than 1 million square feet — about the size of 28 football fields.

» WATCH: Amazon’s new shopping concept means never waiting in lines

Stephan Channels, a Tier 1 associate at Amazon’s Etna location, said he started working at the facility during the height of the retail season in December. He works four 10-hour shifts every week, and said he’s been able to “hit the ground running” every since applying for the position.

His advice for new workers? “Make sure you have comfortable clothes on. I would never wear jeans, and make sure to do your stretches before your shift starts. We move around a lot.”

Employees who work more than 20 hours per week receive benefits, including life and disability insurance, dental vision insurance with premiums paid in full by Amazon, and funding toward medical insurance. Some of the job perks enticed workers to come out and apply during the Amazon Jobs Day at the Etna facility.

» RELATED: Amazon offers big deals during second Prime Day

Hamdi Ahmed, 19, of Pickerington, said she currently works part-time in retail but wants to find a better-paying job so she can save money to go to college. Weary about the long shifts, Ahmed said she wanted to get into the facility to take the tour and see what it’s really like to work at the distribution center.

“I’ve heard they pay really well,” she said. “Right now, I’m not making a lot at my job. I just need more money.”

FIVE FAST BUSINESS READS

Bush Brothers & Co. recalls baked beans cans

Amazon to hire for more than 50,000 jobs this week, including in Ohio

Original Max & Erma's restaurant to close in Ohio

Electronics company to lay off 93 workers in Centerville, Springboro

Starbucks to close all 379 Teavana locations, including local stores

In Other News