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UPS, Amazon ramp up hiring for holidays

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UPS workers handle packages at the company’s regional air hub at Columbia Metropolitan Airport. (Photo/Jeff Blake)UPS workers handle packages at the company’s regional air hub at Columbia Metropolitan Airport. (Photo/Jeff Blake)

By Chuck Crumbo
colanews@scbiznews.com
Published Oct. 22, 2015

With the holiday shipping season approaching, employers are looking to fill hundreds of seasonal jobs in the Midlands.

UPS, which operates a regional air hub at Columbia Metropolitan Airport and a major ground terminal nearby, has 266 job openings for seasonal work, said a Dan McMackin, spokesman for the Atlanta-headquartered carrier.

“Those jobs include drivers, driver helpers and part-time package handlers. Wages range from $10.10 an hour to $18.75,” McMackin said. “We are hiring immediately and applicants must apply on line at www.upsjobs.com.”

The breakdown of jobs at UPS’s West Columbia operations includes 134 helpers, 122 loaders, and 10 drivers.

Amazon plans to create thousands of seasonal jobs at its operations in the Midlands, Charleston and Spartanburg, a spokesman said. (Photo/Chuck Crumbo)Amazon plans to create thousands of seasonal jobs at its operations in the Midlands, Charleston and Spartanburg, a spokesman said. (Photo/Chuck Crumbo)
Statewide, UPS has 1,247 openings for seasonal work. Across the country, UPS expects it will hire between 90,000 and 95,000 seasonal employees to support the anticipated increase in package volume driven by e-commerce that will begin in November and continue through January.

“Many of our seasonal hires are invited back after the holidays, and as we promote almost strictly from within, a permanent position can be a stepping stone to a career,” McMackin said. “I started out loading trucks during the holidays 37 years ago. And our CEO (David Abney) also started out loading trucks part time.”

Abney, who worked the night shift at UPS in March 1974 while studying business, said the job “was a way to pay my way through college. At the time, I had no idea then that I’d be leading the company someday, but I could tell UPS was a place where a solid work ethic was appreciated and there were great opportunities for advancement.”

One of UPS’s e-commerce customers, Amazon, operator of a 1.25-million-square-foot fulfillment center at Saxe Gotha Industrial Park in Lexington County, plans to create 100,000 seasonal jobs across its U.S. network.

The Seattle-based company plans to double its hiring of temps at the Midlands facility to 8,000 workers from 4,000, said Amazon spokesman Aaron Toso.

“Seasonal employees play a critical role in meeting customer demand and we’re excited to be adding thousands of jobs in South Carolina.” said Amazon spokesman Aaron Toso. The additional hires are the result of the company’s response to local needs resulting from this month’s disastrous flooding, Toso said.

In March, the company announced plans to expand the workforce the local fulfillment center by 500 positions. When Amazon made the announcement, it had about 1,500 workers at the Midlands facility, which opened in 2012.

In the United States, Amazon has about 90,000 full-time employees at its more than 50 fulfillment centers and 20 sortation centers.

To meet customer demand and prepare for the 2015 holiday season, Amazon said it has hired more than 25,000 full-time employees since August.

People interested in seasonal positions at Amazon can learn more and apply online.

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