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Bezos in recruiting drive on Amazon front page
By Alistair Barr
Mon Jul 23, 2012 11:48am EDT
(Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos launched a recruiting drive on the front page of the company's website on Monday as the largest Internet retailer seeks staff for its vast and expanding network of warehouses.
Bezos unveiled the Amazon Career Choice Program, which pays up to $8,000 over four years for employees to take technical and vocational courses in high-demand areas including engineering, information technology, transportation and accounting. Amazon's "full-time hourly associates" in the United States who have worked at the company for three years qualify for the program.
Amazon pays fulfillment center employees 30 percent more than retail store staff, Bezos said, and he highlighted productivity and safety improvements.
The company is expanding its network of storage and distribution warehouses, or fulfillment centers, across the United States as it tries to cut shipping times to compete more with traditional retailers.
The drive has increased Amazon's demand for employees -- and that is especially true during the holiday season.
"For most of the year, our full-time fulfillment center employees can keep up with customer demand," Bezos wrote in a letter to customers on the front of Amazon.com on Monday. "But during the holiday gift-giving season, our peak needs temporarily double."
The Amazon Career Choice Program pays tuition and other course costs upfront, rather than reimbursing employees afterwards. The program does not apply to bachelors or masters degree course work, but online course work is eligible, according to the company's website.
(Reporting by Alistair Barr in San Francisco; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)
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