Amazon today announced it now employs more than 17,500 veterans and military spouses across the United States, and plans to hire over 10,000 more by 2021. These full- and part-time roles are spread across the company—from the front-lines of Amazon’s operations network to technical roles in Amazon Web Services—and come with comprehensive benefits including life and disability insurance, dental and vision insurance, with premiums paid in full by Amazon.
“We’re very proud of the remarkable military talent we’ve hired at Amazon – more than 17,500 leaders who are inventing for customers every day across the company,” said Beth Galetti, Amazon’s senior vice president of HR. “Our military recruiting teams have created hiring programs that place veterans and military spouses into roles that fit their unique backgrounds and provide the flexibility and skills training necessary to create long-term career paths at Amazon. We’re still early in our efforts, and will keep expanding our pipeline of military talent in the years to come with more than 10,000 additional roles by 2021.”
Amazon’s ongoing military activities include significant hiring commitments, creating roles that fit with military lifestyles, providing unique training programs, supporting Amazon’s robust Warriors@Amazon employee affinity group network and engaging in advocacy across the country on veterans’ issues. Meet one of our 17,500 military employees, Amazon Air Director Sarah Rhoads, a Navy veteran who led Amazon’s cargo planes to deliver roughly 200,000 pounds of relief supplies to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Since pledging in May 2016 to hire 25,000 veterans and military spouses by 2021, Amazon has launched innovative military hiring programs like Amazon’s Military Leaders Program, which places mid-career veterans in fast-track operations leadership roles. To ensure Amazon is meeting military spouses where they are, the company has expanded its Virtual Customer Services (VCS) roles, which enable employees to work from their homes and take their jobs with them if they relocate. Amazon invented the program to attract the best talent regardless of location, and it’s particularly popular among military spouses who are often located near military bases or are required to frequently transfer to different locations, as well as wounded, injured or ill military veterans who work from home. The company has already extended more than 2,000 VCS offers to military spouses and veterans in 2017.
In January, the Department of Labor certified Amazon as an official cloud computing Apprenticeship – meaning servicemembers and veterans can work directly with Amazon to go through a technical training program over 16 weeks, and participate in a paid apprenticeship with Amazon for 12 months. These apprenticeships regularly lead to full-time technical roles at Amazon or elsewhere. Amazon now offers apprenticeships in four locations—Seattle, Dallas, Northern Virginia and Oregon—and dozens of military members transitioning into civilian life are training in software development, cloud computing and data technician roles.
In addition, Amazon also works with nonprofit veterans groups like Camo2Commerce in Washington State and Maryland’s Corp Career Connect program to train veterans in technical skills that prepare them for roles across Amazon. Amazon also hosts dozens of transitioning servicemembers from the Hiring Our Heroes Fellowship program in roles across the company to help them effectively prepare for their transition to the private sector.
Amazon also advocates for veterans’ issues across the country. For example, Amazon’s public policy team coordinates across the public sector on ways to place members of the military community in meaningful jobs. In the week ahead, as the country recognizes Veterans Day, Amazon is teaming up with the George W. Bush Institute for a series of conversations about how to ensure we’re equipping and empowering veterans and military spouses for meaningful jobs.
“We know that civilian employment remains one of the most important transition issues that impacts veterans and military families,” said Colonel Matthew Amidon, Director of the Bush Institute’s Military Service Initiative. “The Bush Institute is pleased to join Amazon in their tremendous efforts as we all work to ensure access to the meaningful careers that leverage the incredible leadership talent within our armed forces.”
The first event will be in Chicago with veteran business owners and local leaders on November 10. Amazon will host its capstone event at the George W. Bush Institute on November 13, bringing together tech companies, elected officials across Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana, and military business owners for a half-day conversation about efforts to employ, retain and empower veterans.
Amazon is also celebrating veterans and military spouses in recognition events across its operations network in select fulfillment centers in Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Nevada, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia throughout the month of November.