Chewy looking for 400 more workers near Dayton International

Pet goods e-commerce company Chewy Inc. needs more than 400 new workers at its distribution center near the Dayton International Airport.

The company said it’s hiring full- and part-time positions for the fulfillment center at 3280 Lightner Road. The center already has 1,300 workers.

Joanna Hass, a spokeswoman for Chewy, said new hires can earn up to to $20.50 an hour depending on shift and job with sign-on bonuses of $500, referral bonuses of $500 and temporary overtime incentives of up to $500 in addition to overtime pay.

Those interested may apply at, or interview on site 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at at the center.

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 nationwide. It opened its 692,000-square-foot Dayton distribution site in the summer of 2019.

“We had anticipated hiring about 600, but we’re over 1,000 employees,” Gregg Walsh, vice president of fulfillment center operations for Chewy, told the Dayton Daily News in October 2019.

Company officers have said the Dayton center fits well within Chewy’s network, which includes distribution centers in Indiana and Pennsylvania. In March 2020, a Charlotte, N.C. fulfillment center was scheduled to open.

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.

This month, Amazon announced it will build across Union Airpark Boulevard from Procter & Gamble’s seven-year-old distribution operation, north of one of footwear company Crocs’ distribution sites. Crocs is building a third warehouse for its operation, after enjoying a strong year in 2020.

Energizer, Purina, ALPLA and other companies also have a presence west of the airport.

As of two years ago, deft real estate moves around the airport had led to the development of five logistics buildings, including Chewy, totaling more than 2.7 million square feet and employing then more than 2270 people — a massive $92.3 million in capital investment at that point.

The growth has forced the companies to offer starting wages at $15 and above for the logistics workers.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the mean (or average) hourly wage for laborers and freight, stock and material moves nationally as of May 2020 was $16.21 an hour, or $33,710 a year.

In 2018, that number was $12.79 an hour, a little more than $26,000 a year.

The mean hourly wage for warehousing and storage workers in May 2020 was $16.69.

Richard Stock, director of the Business Research Group at the University of Dayton, said the steeper the supply curve of labor, the greater the impact of an increase in labor demand wage rates.

Said Stock: “The increase in the demand for labor should definitely mean that other firms pursuing the same type of labor will have to pay higher wages. And by the way, this is a good thing for the local economy.”

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