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Amazon Uses Nomadic Retirees to Fill Seasonal Warehouse Jobs

Thursday, September 14, 2017

In the mid 2000s, Amazon was facing a workforce issue. Every year the company was struggling to find temporary workers during the hectic holiday season. In some regions, reliable, on-demand labor was so hard to come by the company bussed workers in from three to five miles away. Then, in 2008, a staffing agency came up with a potential solution— invite retired RVers to work in remote locations. CamperForce was born. “We’ve had folks in their eighties who do a phenomenal job for us,” says Kelly Calmes, a Camper­Force representative. He elaborated: “[These] guys have put in a lifetime of work. [They] understand what work is.” Since it began, CamperForce has helped Amazon fill thousands of seasonal warehouse positions. In 2014, it boasted nearly 2,000 workers. And the program is growing. “We can really look back at the last couple years and see how applications have come in earlier and more often,” Calmes said during a recruiting seminar in May. “Response this year has been just really overwhelming.”

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