Amazon launches hiring program in Austin for veterans


AUSTIN (KXAN) — Amazon is looking for more Central Texas veterans, current National Guard members or military families to join the company. 

The electronic commerce company’s Warriors@Amazon program officially launched Monday in Austin, making it the 6th Texas city to be part of the Warriors@ community.

“We actively seek leaders who can invent, think big, have a bias for action and deliver results on behalf of our customers,” CEO Jeff Bezos wrote on its website. “These principles look very familiar to men and women who have served our country in the armed forces, and we find that their experience leading people is invaluable in our fast-paced work environment.”

At last check Monday morning, the Warriors@Amazon website listed 17 positions for Austin. Many of them were software developer and engineer positions. 

“More Texans serve in the military than any other state in the United States,” Congress Michael McCaul, R-Austin, told KXAN. “So when they come back, we want to make sure they have employment.”

Here in Austin, Amazon said Navy veteran Michael Nelms and Christina Brown whose husband is a veteran helped to start the Warriors@ program. 

Brown told us her family moved about six times when her husband was active duty. 

“When you move to a new location, and you’re sitting down with somebody with your resume, they see you’ve only been in the last role for a year or two, it can be difficult to find a way to explain why you were there for such a short time without out right sometimes coming out and saying my husband is military,” she said. “Sometimes there’s negative connotation.”

Brown’s husband got a job at Amazon about six years ago. Brown was hired about four years ago. 

“Knowing they were a company that was going to support me, I wasn’t afraid to tell my boss that my husband is Army, he’s wrapping up through the National Guard right now, let’s take it day by day, and they were nothing but supportive, which is great,” Brown said. “It was a really great change for me.”

According to the Department of Labor, the unemployment rate among veterans in Texas is 3.6 percent.

“I’m a huge proponent of giving back to the community, people that are at [Camp] Mabry or Fort Hood, or any of the local bases,” said Nelms. 

He said he hopes the program will help military men and women who’re thinking about a career change. “That’s the nerve wrecking piece of it,” he said. “You spend 20 years in the military, everything is very structured, defined and laid out for you, and you’re taking a step into somewhat of an unknown.”

Amazon told us they don’t break down the hiring numbers for Warriors at Amazon by state, but worldwide, they’ve hired 17,500 veterans and their families since the initiative began two years ago. 

The goal is to hire 25,000 people by 2021. 

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