Amazon.com Inc. plans to add 7,000 jobs in 13 states, including West Virginia, as part of an effort to beef up staff in its consumer service division and at warehouses where it fills orders.
The online retailer said Monday it would add 5,000 full-time jobs at its U.S. distribution centers, which currently employ about 20,000 workers. It will immediately begin hiring at 17 centers for tasks that include picking items from warehouse shelves, packing them for delivery and operating new technology installed to streamline operations.
Amazon will also add 2,000 jobs in customer service, including full-time, part-time and seasonal jobs at customer service centers in Winchester, Ky.; Grand Forks, N.D.; Kennewick, Wash. and Huntington.
Amazon first opened a Huntington location in 2000, hiring about 370 people. The company recently expanded by building a 70,000-square-foot customer service center at Kinetic Park. That expansion was designed to create an additional 200 jobs by 2014.
A company representative did not respond to a request asking exactly how many jobs from the latest announcement would be based out of Huntington.
Though the specifics have yet to be announced, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's office welcomed the news.
"This is great news for West Virginia," Tomblin spokeswoman Amy Shuler Goodwin said. "Amazon has been a wonderful business partner with West Virginia and we're exited and looking forward to helping them bring more jobs to the state."
Goodwin said the Governor's Office and officials from the state Development Office would reach out to the company in the coming weeks to offer the state's assistance in recruiting new workers.
The company's announcement came one day ahead of President Barack Obama's visit to its Chattanooga, Tenn., fulfillment center, where he is expected to outline policy proposals to spur the creation of middle-class jobs.