Amazon sets up East Side recruiting office to fill 500 jobs

E-commerce giant is hiring to fill more than 500 local positions at three area facilities, as it ramps up for the seasonal holiday rush and brings its new Hamburg center online.

And it’s bringing its employment outreach deep into Buffalo’s East Side to make it easier for residents in some of the city’s poorest neighborhoods to get to it.

The Seattle-based retailer has set up a permanent recruiting and hiring office on the East Side, as a centralizing employment office to handle all of its regional staffing needs.

Located in a small corner suite on the first floor of The Forge apartment complex at 490 Broadway, the office is staffed by company representatives, who handle appointments and walk-in applicants for its warehouse jobs. Those positions include sortation associates and delivery station associates at its three local operations.

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Amazon currently operates both a returns center and a sortation center at 4201 Walden Ave. in Lancaster, and a delivery station at 800 Riverwalk Parkway in Tonawanda. A second delivery station is poised to open in the coming months at 3920 Bayview Road in Hamburg, where Amazon built but has not yet occupied a facility that has been vacant since construction was completed.

“It’s opening very soon, but we’re hiring for Hamburg now,” said spokesman Marc Heintzman.

Amazon has also unveiled plans for a 3.8-million-square-foot regional distribution hub in the Town of Niagara, adjacent to the Niagara Falls International Airport. The $550 million project has been approved by the town and received tax breaks from the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency, but work has not yet begun on the site. The company purchased the land in July.

Heintzman said there is still “no update” on the Niagara project, but a similar regional hub in Rochester is getting ready to open, with its own hiring day coming up.

“It’s been a busy, busy week,” he said. “They’re going to need to do a lot of hiring, which they are.”

In all, Amazon currently employs more than 2,000 people in the Buffalo area.

Amazon decided to open the neighborhood recruitment center after conducting a “deep, deep dive” into a ZIP code analysis to see where its previous job applicants were coming from locally, said Laurlyn Bush, senior staffing manager.

“This location was the highest percentage of people that were going to work at Amazon,” she said. “So we decided to go to the people, to make it as easy as possible, making it as streamlined as possible and as welcoming as possible.”

The staffing office opened in late spring and has ramped up slowly, with permanent signs going in this week.

“It’s still relatively new, and just us trying to become more acquainted with this neighborhood,” Heintzman said. “But now that seasonal hiring has begun, it’s really going to start movin’ and groovin.”

From the initial intake or registration, applicants can get hired within three to five days, including background checks, drug tests and paperwork. It’s already taken in “hundreds” of new hires, and not just from the immediate vicinity.

“We’re finding that a lot of the surrounding areas are drawing people here,” Bush said.

It will also be permanent, not just temporary. “Once seasonal hiring is over with, we’ll still be here,” Heintzman said. “We’ve got our ops sites throughout Western New York that this is going to help support their hiring year-round.”

Reach Jonathan D. Epstein at (716) 849-4478 or

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