Amazon plans to retrain 100,000 employees

Amazon announced it will spend $700 million...

Posted: Jul 12, 2019 3:44 AM
Updated: Jul 12, 2019 3:45 AM

Amazon announced it will spend $700 million over the next six years to help retrain a third of its US workforce to adapt to an economy increasingly disrupted by automation and new technology.

The training, which will be voluntary, expands upon Amazon's existing programs and initiatives. The idea is to help Amazon employees progress into more advanced jobs or even new positions outside of the company. It will be available to 100,000 workers by 2025.

Amazon is calling the plan "Upskilling 2025." Workers could use the training to transfer between positions that, without the training, they might not have been qualified for.

For example, warehouse workers in fulfillment centers could be trained for technical roles in IT and nontechnical workers could be retrained as software engineers, even if they have limited technical background.

Another training initiative, Amazon Apprenticeship, offers paid intensive classroom training and on-the-job apprenticeships within the company. Amazon is also emphasizing its growing cloud business with a training program that helps employees operate in the booming tech business.

"While many of our employees want to build their careers here, for others it might be a stepping stone to different aspirations," said Beth Galetti, Amazon's head of HR, in a prepared statement. "We think it's important to invest in our employees, and to help them gain new skills and create more professional options for themselves."

Amazon's initiative comes as robots and artificial intelligence are advancing and more capable of replacing human jobs.

Machines are expected to displace about 20 million manufacturing jobs across the world over the next decade, according to a recent report from Oxford Economics, a global forecasting and quantitative analysis firm. That amounts to 8.5% of the global manufacturing workforce being displaced by robots.

Amazon is also fighting for employees during one of the tightest labor markets. Upskilling 2025 could help attract more employees because of future opportunities they might not have been previously qualified for. The training also helps Amazon retain workers.

Some of the fastest-growing jobs are in skilled areas Amazon is training for, including software developers, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

"Through its Upskilling 2025 pledge, Amazon is focused on creating pathways to careers in areas that will continue growing in years to come, including healthcare, machine learning, manufacturing, robotics, computer science, cloud computing, and more," the company said in a statement.

The company is also dealing growing internal displeasure among from some fulfillment workers.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the news Thursday.

Recently, the company's plan to spend $800 million to speed up deliveries for Prime members sparked tension between the company and the leader of a major workers' union. They said the new shipping initiative could be dangers for workers and are struggling to keep up with demand.

Amazon was also criticized last April after it revealed the median pay for its global workforce, including part-timers, was $28,446 in 2017. The company said in October that it would raise its minimum wage to $15 per hour for US employees.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 130246

Reported Deaths: 1737
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah27890446
Washington18245166
Marion15878233
Clackamas11445134
Lane8042107
Jackson675782
Umatilla653065
Deschutes480532
Malheur311351
Yamhill309644
Linn304842
Polk236638
Klamath235230
Jefferson166125
Josephine164230
Benton164013
Douglas162943
Union108916
Wasco103723
Columbia100418
Lincoln96817
Hood River93121
Coos92314
Morrow9149
Clatsop6574
Crook5819
Baker5495
Tillamook3572
Curry3164
Lake2275
Grant1821
Harney1673
Wallowa923
Gilliam471
Sherman470
Wheeler191
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2877830

Reported Deaths: 32159
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles97529913234
San Bernardino2415231560
Riverside2334802399
San Diego2041752005
Orange2027532195
Santa Clara883791028
Kern81490550
Fresno78278846
Sacramento782681044
Alameda63866776
Ventura56453388
San Joaquin54796736
Contra Costa49082395
Stanislaus40695720
Tulare39347482
Monterey34072248
San Mateo30196268
San Francisco27863237
Imperial24717460
Solano24291105
Merced22932287
Santa Barbara22769214
Sonoma22610227
Kings18164110
Placer16532172
San Luis Obispo14625119
Madera12570130
Santa Cruz11423111
Marin11126148
Yolo9933131
Shasta9450111
Butte9013120
Sutter737975
El Dorado732639
Napa702838
Lassen504813
Yuba471226
San Benito469841
Tehama391742
Tuolumne327036
Nevada303770
Mendocino300331
Amador291429
Lake232128
Humboldt222024
Glenn179219
Colusa16679
Calaveras149322
Siskiyou137312
Mono10384
Inyo88227
Del Norte8272
Plumas5695
Modoc3733
Mariposa3344
Trinity2994
Alpine730
Sierra670
Unassigned00
Medford
Cloudy
45° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 45°
Brookings
Mostly Cloudy
48° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 48°
Medford
Cloudy
45° wxIcon
Hi: 38° Lo: 23°
Feels Like: 45°
Medford
Cloudy
45° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 43°
Klamath Falls
Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 32°
Staying mild into the weekend
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events