Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Business

Amazon starts hiring for Ruskin, Lakeland fulfillment centers

Online retail giant Amazon has started hiring for jobs at its distribution centers opening in Ruskin and Lakeland.

Amazon's career websites list about 40 Florida positions, including operation engineers, industrial maintenance technicians, human resource employees and administrative assistants.

"We hire the world's brightest minds, offering them an environment in which they can relentlessly improve the customer experience,'' say some of the job descriptions.

"This your chance to make history.''

Amazon is expected to hire more than 1,000 people for the Ruskin center, a number that could double with seasonal and temporary workers once the center is fully operational.

Only job listings for fulfillment associates, who process orders at the warehouses, include a wage: $10.75 an hour for a part-time fulfillment associate and $14.50 for a lead fulfillment trainer or dock clerk.

Qualifications needed range from a high school diploma for a fulfillment associate to a bachelor's degree for a senior financial analyst. Fulfillment associate jobs require that people be able to lift and move totes up to 49 pounds and stand and walk for up to 10 to 12 hours. Job listings say fulfillment centers can be noisy and vary in temperature between 60 and 90 degrees, and sometimes higher.

The Seattle-based retailer is opening fulfillment centers in Hillsborough and Polk counties for processing, packaging and shipping orders. The facility in Hillsborough, near Interstate 75 and State Road 674 in Ruskin, will handle smaller goods such as books and CDs. The Polk facility, at 1760 County Line Road in Lakeland, will handle larger goods, such as TVs and kayaks.

Construction on the million-square-foot centers is expected to be finished by the end of the year in time for the holiday shopping season. The majority of hiring will occur a few months before the centers open, said Amazon spokeswoman Nina Lindsey.

Amazon has been aggressively opening distribution centers nationwide to speed up delivery times and had been scouting sites in Florida for a while. Hillsborough and Polk counties offered the company millions in tax incentives over the next several years if it creates hundreds of higher-paying jobs.

On May 1, the company started collecting sales tax on many orders from Florida customers, a requirement for a merchant that has a physical presence in the state. The additional tax money is expected to generate $75 million to $80 million for the state.

Until last week, Amazon customers had been able to buy many items without sales tax being assessed, putting local merchants at a cost disadvantage of at least 6 percent. Now only purchases made through certain out-of-state third-party sellers are tax free.

Florida law requires residents to submit sales tax on online purchases, but few people do, and the state doesn't enforce it.

Susan Thurston can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 225-3110.

Comments
So far, Pasco’s tourism base: Floridians, Canadians

So far, Pasco’s tourism base: Floridians, Canadians

NEW PORT RICHEY – The typical tourist in Pasco County this year most likely is a Floridian.But there are lots of Canadians here as well. Nearly 80 percent drove, rather than flew, to the region. Forty percent stayed in hotels, but more than a quarter...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Girls hockey could replace boys lacrosse on Pasco tourism calendar

Girls hockey could replace boys lacrosse on Pasco tourism calendar

NEW PORT RICHEY – Hockey pucks could replace lacrosse balls as the required sports equipment for the holiday tourism season in Wesley Chapel.The Wickenheiser World Female Hockey Festival, founded by Canadian hockey player Hayley Wickenheiser, is seek...
Updated: 1 hour ago
St. Pete Pier public arts committee to meet with finalists, make decision

St. Pete Pier public arts committee to meet with finalists, make decision

ST. PETERSBURG — The pier public arts committee is expected to decide today which artist or artists will have their work showcased in the new 26-acre Pier District. The committee, which selected six finalists with the help of consultant Ann Wykell, w...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Disney World hiring 3,500, offers signing bonuses up to $5,000

Disney World hiring 3,500, offers signing bonuses up to $5,000

ORLANDO — In an ever-tightening job market, Disney World is doubling its hiring bonuses for some summer jobs, even for unskilled or part-time positions — as it seeks to hire for 3,500 positions.A housekeeper hired this year at Disney World’s resorts ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Amazon will now deliver to certain cars across Tampa Bay

Amazon will now deliver to certain cars across Tampa Bay

SAN FRANCISCO — Amazon latest perk ... free delivery to your car. The Seattle company said Tuesday that it has begun delivering packages in 37 cities — including Tampa and St. Petersburg — to Prime members who own newer General Motors or Volvo vehicl...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Hernando Chamber boosts small business with videos

Hernando Chamber boosts small business with videos

SPRING HILL — Jaden Trotter claims he was basically shy. When a new sandwich shop opened a year and a half ago, he applied for work as a delivery driver, a job not requiring a lot of people skills.But Ryan Noruzi, owner of the local Jimmy Johns franc...
Published: 04/24/18
Armed Forces History Museum collection has a new home, but new owner is a mystery

Armed Forces History Museum collection has a new home, but new owner is a mystery

LARGO — The contents of the Armed Forces History Museum have been sold, but no one is ready to talk about the future of the collection of military memorabilia.A collector named John Piazza used his personal collection to start the public museum, whic...
Published: 04/24/18
Swimmer Michael Phelps to headline Crystal Lagoon grand opening Saturday

Swimmer Michael Phelps to headline Crystal Lagoon grand opening Saturday

WESLEY CHAPEL — Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps will splash down Saturday at the Crystal Lagoon in Wesley Chapel’s Epperson development.Phelps, a global ambassador for Crystal Lagoons, will appear at the grand opening of the first Crystal Lagoon...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Big visitor calls at Port Tampa Bay

Big visitor calls at Port Tampa Bay

TAMPA — The 750-foot-long Ireland, one of the biggest cargo vessels ever to call at Port Tampa Bay, arrived Sunday.The Ireland is on its inaugural voyage, having left a shipyard in China for a stop in Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula to pick up 64,865 shor...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Work starting on JW Marriott, but Water Street Tampa expects to have 10 buildings under way within a year

Work starting on JW Marriott, but Water Street Tampa expects to have 10 buildings under way within a year

TAMPA — Water Street Tampa marks the start of construction Tuesday on its first building, the posh JW Marriott hotel, but there’s a lot more to come.And soon.Within a year, developers said Monday, construction should be underway on 10 — 10! — of Wate...
Updated: 7 hours ago