CHICAGO (CBS) -- The pandemic has decimated many businesses, but one of the few exceptions has been Amazon. The online retail giant's success means they have kept expanding and hiring in the Chicago area.
CBS 2's Lauren Victory is Working for Chicago to bring you the information you need to land a job with Amazon.
After orders are sent into cyberspace and before they're dispatched into the real world, a bit of heavy lifting is required.
Customer purchases are boxed by this point in the Amazon supply chain. Now comes picking packages and coordinating routes.
"What I like to tell folks is this is the equivalent of the Amazon post office," said Amazon senior station operations manager Domonic Wilkerson.
Wilkerson is at the reins of the Amazon delivery station in Melrose Park. His employees are workhorses, fitting because the facility used to be a racetrack.
If this seems like your speed, Amazon is opening six more delivery stations before the end of the year -- two in Chicago; and one each in Cicero, Arlington Heights, Palatine, and Bridgeview -- and needs hundreds of new employees.
"As you can tell, you have to have a good pace about you. We like to call it the Amazon pace, and the expectation is that our folks, we're moving with a purpose," Wilkerson said.
In return, Amazon offers a starting pay of $15 an hour and scheduling flexibility.
"There are opportunities for folks that just need a second job, or have to change their schedule now due to COVID and the fact that their children are at home," Wilkerson said.
A few Amazon employees at the facility have been tasked with being social distance managers. They make sure everyone wears masks, and use megaphones to communicate with co-workers and keep people safely distanced. Anyone entering the facility must submit to a temperature check.
It's not just Amazon hiring. Some of their delivery partners that also work out of this location are looking to add to their fleet.
"It's constant work," said Perry Sims, a driver for Priority Parcels, an Amazon delivery partner that employs about 100 delivery associates (and is hiring).
He views that as a good thing. It's a job that's not going anywhere right now, especially with the holidays around the corner.
There's another benefit. Sims said he lost about 70 pounds since January from all the hustling required on the job.
"I didn't want to go to a gym. I didn't want to go home and try to work out, but after coming here to Amazon, I was able to keep moving," he said.
A good driving record is a must for those hitting the road.
Above all, the requirement is to deliver with a smile.
Amazon delivery stations recently opened in Downers Grove and West Chicago. Another one will open in Chicago's Pullman neighborhood this week.
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