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Amazon ups Metro Vancouver recruitment campaign to nearly 3,000

E-commerce giant aims to hire 950 additional staff for existing fulfillment centres
Amazon uses its 650,000-square-foot distribution centre on Braid Street, in New Westminster, to handle larger items, such as sofas | Glen Korstrom

One week after e-commerce giant Inc. announced a plan to hire 2,000 workers for five new Metro Vancouver facilities, it has upped its recruitment goal to 2,950.

That number includes several hundred employees that the company (Nasdaq:AMZN) recently hired to work at a new location in the Township of Langley.

The 950 additional workers that Amazon, on May 13, said it aims to recruit will be based in its three existing fulfillment centres.

Those longtime centres include a 650,000-square-foot site on Braid Street, in New Westminster; a 200,000-square-foot facility on Annacis Island, in Delta; and a 1.2-million-square-foot distribution hub that sits on a 450,000-square-foot site in Tsawwassen.

BIV has been able to confirm that Amazon opened a new site at 5636-272nd Street, in the Township of Langley, in mid-February.

Amazon also plans to open four additional sites in the Lower Mainland by the end of 2021.

The company originally listed its 450,000-square-foot advanced robotics fulfilment centre as being in Vancouver, but the site is actually at the Port of Vancouver's Richmond Logistics Hub, at 16131 Blundell Road, in Richmond.

That facility is expected to create 1,000 jobs.

The three other Metro Vancouver sites Amazon expects to open later in 2021 include:
• a delivery station in Building 3100 in the Golden Ears Business Park, on Harris Road in Pitt Meadows;
• a delivery station at 7400 Vantage Way, in Delta; and
• a sorting centre at 9385-200th Street in Langley.

Amazon said it plans to hire several hundred people each for its two delivery stations, and about 500 people for its sorting centre.

There have been rumours that Amazon is the tenant behind a large new distribution centre planned at Victoria International Airport, but a source within Amazon was unaware of this project, when asked by BIV.

Amazon said it currently employs 5,500 full- and part-time workers in B.C., which includes new workers in the Township of Langley.

Metro Vancouver is its largest employment hub outside its home base of Washington State. If Amazon finds and hires the employees it aims to recruit, it would have about 8,150 staff in the province.

That would make it a larger employer in B.C. than Telus Corp. (TSX:T) and Northland Properties Corp., which each at last count employed about 8,000 workers in the province.

The Jim Pattison Group is B.C.'s largest private-sector employer with about 27,600 employees, according to BIV's 2020 list of the largest national or global companies operating in the province.

The second largest private-sector employer in B.C., according to BIV's list, is Amazon's arch-rival Walmart Inc.'s (NYSE:WMT) Canadian subsidiary Walmart Canada Corp., which employs 10,480 British Columbians.

In 2019, when Amazon employed 2,300 employees in B.C., it said that it planned to triple that workforce within the next few years.

Amazon said last week that it has invested more than $3 billion in B.C. in the past decade.

Included in Amazon's B.C. workforce are more than 1,500 office workers in downtown Vancouver, with those workers having been in a shifting series of sites.

Amazon office workers now occupy space at Telus Garden, at 510 West Georgia Street; the Exchange, at 475 Howe Street; and an Oxford Properties building at 402 Dunsmuir Street.

Amazon's largest office hub in downtown Vancouver is set to be at the Post building, at 349 West Georgia Street, when construction on that building is complete – likely in 2023.

Amazon has been incrementally leasing more space in that complex, and at last count intended to lease 1.1 million square feet at the Post.

It is unclear how many new workers the company will hire to fill that site.

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