By Don Reisinger
April 6, 2017

Amazon’s hiring spree is in full force.

The online retailer on Thursday announced plans to hire 30,000 part-time workers in the U.S. over the next year, including 5,000 positions that will allow employees to work from home as customer service representatives. Amazon’s incoming part-time employees will work 20 or more hours and receive benefits.

About 25,000 of the positions Amazon has floated will work in the company’s sorting and fulfillment centers, a nod to the company’s plans to boost the number of logistics facilities across the U.S. in the coming years. According to Amazon, all of its part-time workers are eligible for a Career Choice program that pre-pays 95% of an employee’s tuition if he or she is working in fields that Amazon says are “in demand.”

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Amazon is rapidly expanding its business from its online retail roots into other areas. Along with its growing entertainment business and formidable cloud computing arm, Amazon is developing drone technology that could ultimately see it rely upon its own unmanned aerial vehicles to deliver products to customers homes, and has expanded its offering of same-day delivery to compete against brick-and-mortar retailers.

In response, Amazon (AMZN) founder and CEO Jeff Bezos has said that he plans to “open new fulfillment centers” across the world and invest in “advanced logistics” technologies like drones. And while drones could, in some respects, replace people, humans are still critical to ensuring Amazon can deliver goods to customer homes on time and on budget.

The 30,000 hiring spree Amazon announced on Thursday follows the company’s announcement in January that it plans to hire 100,000 full-time employees by the middle of next year. That sum, plus the 30,000 part-time workers Amazon is looking to hire, will grow the company’s U.S. employee base to more than 300,000 people.

However, Amazon will still be far behind its chief competitor Walmart (WMT), which currently employs 1.5 million people across the U.S.

Those interested in applying for Amazon’s part-time employment can do so now through the company’s jobs site.

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