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Amazon Pushes To Recruit Veterans

veteran_salute.jpg
Photo by Joshua J. Seybert
/
U.S. Air Force

Amazon is making a push to recruit veterans, and says it has ways to support them.

In a press release issued July 13th, the company says it aims to hire over 100,000 veterans and military spouses by 2024. This will add to what the company estimates is the 40,000 veterans already in its employ.

Ex-Air Force Major General John Quintas, former advisor for political-military affairs to the Pentagon, is heading up veteran recruitment efforts for Amazon.

Quintas retired in 2017, and said his experience in the military-industrial complex has been useful at Amazon.

“I served 29 years. I was a former weapons systems officer. I had a really rewarding career around the world and Amazon valued my experience. I landed softly in a great role with a great company.”

Amazon has faced criticism lately with reports that its injury rate is nearly double that of other warehouse jobs. Quintas said as far as physical safety for vets, he isn’t the person to speak to at Amazon.

“I think there’s just somebody better at Amazon to address that, that’s not my area of expertise. As the director of global military affairs, I’m looking out for the specific challenges that veterans face as they transition.”

Quintas said a specific issue transitioning veterans face is “cultural adaptation” or switching from a structured military environment to one with more ambiguity.

To help transitioning veterans, Quintas said Amazon has a mentor program.

This program is run by a company called Veterati and can be signed up for using LinkedIn. A person has to make a profile and answer questions about what they’re looking for in a mentor, also agreeing to a non-exclusive license to share personal information.

Another problem for veterans is suicide. Since 9/11, over 30,000 vets have killed themselves. Quintas said this was a concern, and his team – comprised of veterans and military spouses – is sympathetic.

“I have team members from every branch of service, I have military spouses, I have reservists. We own understanding the military experience as they come to Amazon.”

Quintas said that Amazon tries to create stability and growth for all its employees by offering educational benefits.

A recent report puts Amazon’s warehouse turnover rate at 150%, meaning the company is replacing its warehouse workforce every 8 months. To receive educational benefits, a worker must be at Amazon for a year.

Amazon is slated to open its third facility in Tulsa in 2021.