Walmart Warehouse

While tens of thousands of Arizonans filed for unemployment last week, companies like Walmart are looking to hire huge numbers to keep up with extraordinary customer demand.

West Valley grocery stores, drug stores and warehouses are filled with employees working to restock items and keep buildings clean.

While several large companies are offering bonuses and eager to hire in large numbers, a record number of Arizonans are out of work.

Arizona’s Department of Economic Security reported over 100,000 initial unemployment claims being filed last week. According to the department, there are normally around 3,000 claims per week.

Many who are still working are finding their jobs changing.

Adrian Delgado, an Amazon field ambassador in Phoenix, has not lost his job but is doing a different one right now.

He said all the field ambassadors are unable to hold events for the community, so they are helping in warehouses struggling to keep up with intense consumer demand. 

And Amazon is continuing to hire.

“Every day there is a new batch of associates being trained,” Delgado said.

He welcomes the help, as he has been working 12-hour days since mid-March as well as going to school at Arizona State University full time.

According to Amazon Jobs, the Goodyear fulfillment center is currently hiring. Job descriptions and applications can be found online at amazon.jobs/en.

Other companies looking for mass hiring include Walmart, CVS Health and QuikTrip, all of which have locations in the West Valley that are likely looking for help.

According to a press release, Walmart is hiring over 3,700 associates across Arizona through the end of May. The Walmart Distribution Center in Buckeye, in particular, is currently seeking help.

Walmart has boosted its entry-level pay at warehouses and distribution centers to $15-$19 per hour.

And Walmart has started expedited hiring. This means a person can apply online, get hired and be working within 24 hours. 

CVS Health has plans to immediately fill 50,000 positions across the country, as part of “the most ambitious hiring drive in the company’s history,” according to a press release.

The company has also implemented new cleaning protocols to protect people from the virus.

“The health and well-being of our colleagues has always come first,” said Larry Merlo, president and CEO of CVS Health.

“We’ve been working around the clock to increase availability of supplies and update protocols to ensure our stores are safe for colleagues and customers alike.”

According to a press release, QuikTrip plans to hire over 20,000 employees across the country. It is currently looking for Arizonans to work in “the greater Phoenix metropolitan area.”

“We look forward to putting hardworking, dependable and service-oriented people in the Phoenix area to work,” said Jason Hasty, QuikTrip Phoenix Division personnel manager.

Other companies in the West Valley looking for workers are AJ’s Fine Foods, Albertsons and Walgreens.

Companies have implemented incentives including increased hourly wages for overtime and bonuses in order to fill the positions and provide financial assistance to current employees.

CVS Health is offering bonuses ranging from $150 to $500 for employees who are required to be in the facilities around patients and customers, a press release reported.

According to a press release, Walmart has increased its hourly wages for e-commerce fulfillment centers by $2 per hour through Memorial Day.

And current Walmart workers can receive a $250 bonus for referring a new hire, with the new employee also receiving a $250 bonus.