Obama To Speak In Chattanooga On "Better Bargain For The Middle Class"; Amazon Boosting Hiring

Sunday, July 28, 2013

President Obama will give the first in a series of policy speeches "on his better bargain for the middle class" during his visit to Chattanooga on Tuesday, White House officials said.  

He plans to fly into the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport on Air Force One, then go to the Amazon Fulfillment Center at the Enterprise South Industrial Park.

Meanwhile, Amazon.com officials said they are boosting hiring in Chattanooga and across the country.

Spokesman Ty Rogers said, "We are adding approximately a dozen management and IT positions here in Chattanooga, as well as converting dozens of seasonal employees into full-time roles every month. We’ve also converted hundreds of seasonal employees into full-time roles so far this year."

Amazon announced it is creating more than 5,000 new full-time jobs in its U.S. fulfillment network "to meet growing customer demand. Median pay inside Amazon fulfillment centers is 30 percent higher than that of people who work in traditional retail stores—and that doesn't even include the stock grants that full-time employees receive, which over the past five years have added an average of 9% to base pay annually. Amazon employs over 20,000 full-time employees in its U.S. fulfillment centers."

“We’re hiring more than 5,000 people to join our team and help us continue to innovate and serve our customers,” said Dave Clark, vice president of worldwide operations and customer service at Amazon. “We’re focused on sustained innovation across Amazon and want to help our employees succeed—whether at Amazon or elsewhere—so we offer programs like Career Choice, where we’ll pay for up to 95% of eligible employees’ tuition regardless of whether the skills they learn are relevant to a career at Amazon.”

He said Amazon "has created thousands of jobs across its fulfillment center and customer service networks in recent years. In the last year alone, Amazon opened eight fulfillment centers in the U.S., resulting in thousands of new jobs being added to communities nationwide. The more than 5,000 jobs now available across the fulfillment network include picking, packing and shipping customer orders while engaging with high-end, state of the art technology. The jobs offer competitive pay, a comprehensive benefits package, company stock awards and bonuses."

Officials said Tuesday’s Obama speech "will focus on manufacturing and high wage jobs for durable economic growth, and the President will discuss proposals he has laid out to jumpstart private sector job growth and make America more competitive, and will also talk about new ideas to create American jobs.  

"On Wednesday at Knox College, the President discussed the state of the economy and the middle class and laid out his plan to grow the economy building on the cornerstones of middle class security. 

"In Chattanooga, the President will continue to talk about the progress we've made together, the challenges that remain, and the path forward."  

The arrival and departure of Air Force One and the President’s remarks to employees at the Amazon fulfillment center in Chattanooga are closed to the public.   

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