WILMINGTON — By the 8 a.m. start time Monday, there were already 50-some people in line down a hallway and out the door waiting to apply for new Amazon jobs being created at the Wilmington Air Park.
Monday was the first of two “information days” to be held this week in Wilmington for job-seekers to learn about and apply for the Amazon jobs. Last fall Amazon announced it will open an air gateway at the air park where freight will be sorted for the e-commerce giant.
Amazon is looking to hire about 500 people, according to Job Developer and Manager Tammy Keller of the OhioMeansJobs’ Employment & Training Center in Wilmington which was the site of Monday’s event.
Charles Wells of Wilmington was one of the morning applicants. He worked at the air park for Airborne Express and DHL, starting in 1996 and working there 13 years until DHL left in 2009, ending air freight operations in Wilmington.
During the past 10 years, he has had a “lot of jobs here and there. Nothing really like what I had with them. I was hoping to retire from there really to be honest with you.”
Right now he’s looking for an Amazon package sorting job, but he has experience in several air freight positions including sort, repairing the equipment, and working the ramp.
Wells said, “It’s good to see that Amazon decided last year to go up to $15 an hour base pay, so that’s kind of cool in itself. I hate to say it but you can’t make it on less anymore, it’s just difficult.”
He is happy an aviation-related operation is moving in at the air park — and “not a drag strip.” After DHL departed, an air park runway was utilized some weekends by a race car organization.
Wells said he is looking forward to potentially returning to the air park.
He quipped, “Besides I got to fill up that bank they just started.”
Susan Crowe also applied Monday morning and is seeking to be part of the sorting operations.
She’s worked third shift before elsewhere and said she will do it again. Crowe was employed 21 years by Clinton Memorial Hospital where she worked in housekeeping, had a support tech position, and also held a job there to transport patients to and from X-ray.
She’s hoping to land a full-time Amazon job.
“I just hear a lot of good things about it. Everybody seems upbeat about it. I think Wilmington needs this,” remarked Crowe.
William McCleese of Peebles was applying Monday on a computer in the OhioMeansJobs Center office. Previously, he worked at two Wilmington manufacturing facilities that have since closed: One of his first jobs was at Randall Textron and later he worked at Crysteco.
While he has not worked at the air park before in air freight, he has a lot of friends who have.
He said he would like to operate a forklift at the new air gateway, expected to open this summer.
Keller, of the OhioMeansJobs Center in Wilmington, said Monday that previously Amazon had posted only its lead positions, but the applications that opened up Monday are for entry-level positions, too.
Another Amazon “information and application day” when representatives of Amazon will be present will be held between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. this Friday, April 26. It too will be at the local OhioMeansJobs’ Employment & Training Center. It’s located at 1025 South South Street, Suite 500 in the Clinton County Community Services Center building (sometimes called the Job & Family Services building).
But interested people don’t have to wait until Friday. This Wilmington location of the OhioMeansJobs’ Employment & Training Center has the necessary information, and people can apply to Amazon on the Center’s computers, Keller said.
“If they’re not familiar with the process, we can help them get their profile set up and lead them to the right place to apply for the positions,” she said Monday.
This same week, Amazon information sessions will be held in Highland, Greene and Warren Counties at the OhioMeansJobs sites in Hillsboro, Xenia and Lebanon respectively.
The Highland County information session will be held between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Thursday, April 25 at OhioMeansJobs located at 1575 North High Street in Hillsboro. The Greene County information session will be held between noon and 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 23 at OhioMeansJobs located at 581 Ledbetter Road, Xenia.
And the Warren County information session will be held between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Wednesday, April 24 at OhioMeansJobs located at 300 East Silver Street in Lebanon.
The Amazon representatives on-site Monday in Wilmington weren’t authorized to speak for the company.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.