But on Tuesday, July 16, the 24-year-old Tracy resident completed the first steps of what she hopes will be “an exciting and fresh opportunity.”
Dixon was among dozens of people who took advantage of an Amazon.com Inc. online application event at the San Joaquin County WorkNet office in Tracy on Tuesday and Thursday, July 18.
“It’s hard in the valley and it’s hard in Tracy to find a job,” she said. “There aren’t a lot of opportunities out here, but I think Amazon is going to open up a branch of opportunities for everyone.”
Employment numbers for June, show Tracy’s unemployment rate at 7.4 percent; San Joaquin County at 12 percent; and the state of California at 8.8 percent, according to county’s Employment Development Department. Tracy’s population is 82,922, according to the 2010 U.S. Census.
Dixon’s attitude is similar to a growing buzz of excitement seen during recent months by Audie Green, employment training supervisor at the WorkNet office, 543 W. Grant Line Road.
Amazon.com Inc., the Seattle-based online retailer, announced in January that it’s placing a 1-million-square-foot fulfillment center in the Northeast Industrial area off Chrisman Road, south of Grant Line Road. Construction is under way, with an opening planned for this fall.
“It’s certainly bringing a lot of buzz, because everyone is familiar with Amazon and also because of the sheer size of who they need to work,” Green said. “We’ve had a lot of inquiries since it was announced, and people are always coming here to try and find out more information about how to apply.”
The two application events — sponsored by the city of Tracy and WorkNet — allowed people without Internet access to submit their résumés to Amazon’s website. The 96 slots quickly filled last week, according to Green.
With the opening of the fulfillment center promising to create “hundreds of jobs,” according to Amazon, many applicants are anxious for the opportunity of new work.
“What we found out is that many of the people who made an appointment had already applied online,” Green said. “They could have misunderstood that this was a hiring event or an interview event as well.”
Despite any confusion, Green said the coming of Amazon may provide a chance to expose potential candidates to the overall job hiring market.
“We hope that that it jumpstarts the local hiring market and generates more interest in other positions that folks should be looking for in the area,” he said. “Amazon will obviously have some additional services that they will be procuring, such as transportation opportunities and services from local businesses, and I would expect a ripple effect just with them being here.”
Green encouraged job seekers to be patient when applying to Amazon, because its job process is strictly online — a difference from other area employers, he said.
“I would suggest that people do their homework and they read about Amazon, what they’re all about, because they have their own culture and it’s very different from anything else,” he said. “They want you to apply online and then they will contact you online, so you want to understand the process.”
More than 100 appointments were offered at the Stockton WorkNet office for application events Saturday, July 20, and July 27, but those spots were filled within days, as well.
For Dixon, she’s waiting for her opportunity while considering the possibilities.
“I’ve been reading their stuff, and it seems that after a year, people are promoted to different positions,” she said. “I can’t wait for them to open and I really hope I get the job.”
To apply to Amazon online, visit www.workatamazonfulfillment.com.