Amazon to hire more than 100 tech workers in Detroit by year's end

Candice Williams
The Detroit News

Detroit — As Inc. continues to expand its footprint in Michigan, the online retail giant said Tuesday it is hiring to fill more than 100 corporate roles for its Detroit tech hub office.

The need for more technical workers comes as more businesses use the Amazon platform to sell their products, said Garret Gaw, director of software development at Amazon’s office in downtown Detroit.. The goal is to hire the additional employees before the end of the year.

Garret Gaw is director of software development at Amazon's downtown Detroit tech hub, where the online retail giant plans to hire 100 more employees to help third-party sellers more easily sell products on Amazon.

“A lot of our customers are small to medium-size businesses around the globe that want to be able to sell with Amazon,” Gaw said. “As we’re innovating on behalf of those companies to help them, there’s a lot of work to be done.”

The roles include software development engineers, technical program managers, data scientists and product managers.

The local tech hiring comes as the company also announced it is hiring for 125,000 operations jobs across the country. Amazon says its hiring and expanded footprint will “better serve customers in communities where they live.” 

Senior program manager Brooke Scharrer works at a computer in the kitchen at the Amazon Detroit Tech Hub on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. Behind her is artwork from Detroit artist Olivia Guterson.

The roles in fulfillment and transportation will average at least $18 per hour and reach $22.50 per hour in some locations, the company said.

Amazon has several facilities, including fulfillment centers and delivery stations, in Metro Detroit. Last week, the company announced its first mid-Michigan fulfillment center and three more facilities to serve Metro Detroit and the Grand Rapids area.

Amazon has had a corporate presence in Metro Detroit since 2012, when it launched with three employees. Since that time, it’s grown to more than 400 employees on four floors at 150 Jefferson in downtown Detroit.

Most downtown Detroit employees are working remotely during the pandemic but are expected to return to the office in January 2022, officials said.

One of the corporate office floors recently underwent a renovation that included the installation of colorful Motown-themed art, including one piece made of "The Primes" records, a nod to both the singing group whose members would later form the Temptations and to Amazon's Prime delivery service. 

Gaw said the current employee pool at the corporate office is mostly Michigan natives, with others from Austria, Croatia and Romania as well as the east and west coasts.

“It raises the tide for all the tech companies in the area,” he said. “A lot of folks, they’re not going to spend their entire career with Amazon, but when they’re here locally that just helps the talent sort of universally in southeast Michigan.”

Twitter: @CWilliams_DN