Pet goods retailer Chewy announced Wednesday its hiring 500 workers in early June for its new fulfillment center near the Dayton International Airport.
“The new jobs are full-time positions, including facilities technicians, utility workers, fulfillment center leads, human resources, IT technicians, and more,” a spokeswoman for the company said in an email to this news outlet.
Based in Dania Beach, Fla., and founded in 2011, Chewy is an online retailer of pet food and supplies and employs more than 10,000 people. The company plans to open its warehouse in July.
Asked about a pay range for the new Dayton positions, a Chewy spokesman said the wages will be competitive.
Pay across industries will vary by position and locale. But the average hourly wage for forklift operations nationally is $13.68, according to the website payscale.com. The average hourly wage for drivers of tractor trailers is $19.13, according to the same source, which also put the average wage for package handlers at $12.27 an hour. The average for customer service representatives is $15.
An initial jobs estimate at the facility was put at about 600. But a member of Chewy’s executive team told this newspaper in January the company could conceivably create more than 1,000 jobs at the local site in coming years.
“With the ramp up we’re going to have with this building, that number could double in the first three years,” Pete Krillies, Chewy’s vice president of real estate and facilities, said in January, referring to the early estimate of 600 jobs.
Chewy is occupying a 690,500-square-foot building near the airport. Krillies said the new building has the capacity for around 1,500 workers.
He said his company should know more about employment plans for the facility within the first year of operation.
The new facility will serve as Chewy’s Midwest hub, which will help the company achieve a goal of getting packages to customers within 48 hours of placing the order, Krillies also said.
Land surrounding the Dayton International Airport has seen a bonanza of distribution facilities built, spurred by a location near the intersection of two major interstates, relatively low labor and operations costs and community leaders who have openly welcomed the employers.
Since 2015, five buildings have been finished or are under construction in a 400-acre area around the airport that NorthPoint Development has branded as Park 70/75.
NorthPoint’s branding plan calls for five more buildings totaling more than 6 million square feet of industrial space. Most of the new companies that have moved into the buildings are fueled by online sales.
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