WALLINGFORD — Dozens of area residents visited the Wallingford Public Library Wednesday with the hope of becoming Amazon employees.
Applicants formed multiple lines in the library lobby, waiting for the final step in the hiring process for Amazon’s new North Haven facility. Workforce Alliance has had a partnership with Amazon since 2017 and helped to coordinate the event. Workforce Alliance Business Services Coordinator Wanda Lary said the event was for applicants who completed the first steps in the process.
“We partner with different employers to facilitate candidate interviewing, recruitment slates. Also we provide different reimbursement incentives to help with on-boarding individuals in a cost effective way,” Lary said.
The Wednesday event consisted of scheduled appointments with applicants to complete the last portion of the hiring process. Applicants submitted I-9 documents, received a badge photo and completed a drug test. After an orientation presentation, applicants left with an offer contingent on successful completion of a background check and the drug test, Lary said.
New Haven resident Shellick Douglas said she has been in the retail sector for the past 10 years. Douglas feels a sense of urgency to get a job because she recently gave birth to twins.
Waterbury resident Mary Fields said she was drawn to the job because of the pay. Fields works in New York and commutes for a job that pays $15 an hour. She applied for the job because she wants to be able to work closer to home.
Wolcott resident Ruth Rivera said she already has a job but is looking for a better opportunity.
“It’s the 401K, I can move up in the company, it’s convenient and it’s close by,” Rivera said.
Naugatuck resident Jennifer Bryant said she has been searching for a job since February when she was laid off. She needs to start working soon before her unemployment ends. The warehouse job she applied for is much different than her previous job working at a digital media company, she said.
“It’s something different...I figured it’d be nice to try something new,” Bryant said.
The hiring event came after a nationwide strike earlier in the week during the company’s promotional Prime Day sale. Amazon workers went on strike against the working conditions at facilities and to increase efforts for employees to unionize.
West Haven resident Dan Flanagan said he decided to work for Amazon because he sees that the company is growing. He has experience working in a warehouse. Flanagan said he heard about warehouse strikes at other facilities and talks of creating a union, but said he is not too concerned.
“Unions are hit or miss,” Flanagan said. “I’ve been through them before. Sometimes they’re good, sometimes they’re bad. It all depends on who’s leading it and what the structure is.”
Several other hiring events will be held later this month, including one in Meriden next week.