Amazon's operation in San Luis Obispo is in hiring mode.
The global online retailer, based in Seattle, has had a San Luis Obispo presence for at least a decade, and Amazon SLO currently employs just under 100 people, said Michael Manchak, president and CEO of the Economic Vitality Corp. of San Luis Obispo County.
The SLO office is expected to grow, according to Teal Pennebaker, an Amazon spokesperson.
“We’re growing to meet customer demand, and these new, full-time positions are because of the great workforce we have found in San Luis Obispo,” said Pennebaker, who replied in an emailed response to The Tribune. The company did not respond to requests for additional information about its SLO hiring plans.
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Word first surfaced about hiring last month at a Sponsor Appreciation Event hosted by the EVC. At the event, Chris Russo, a manager at Amazon, did not say how many additional employees the Amazon SLO office plans to hire, but it was noted that Cal Poly is key to the operation with its pool of talented students, Manchak said.
Moreover, Manchak said, Amazon's national presence is helping to put this area on the map.
Amazon arrived in San Luis Obispo after acquiring CustomFlix, an on-demand DVD service founded in 2002 by Cal Poly graduates, which was later named Zero Mass Engineering. Many of the employees who work in Amazon's San Luis Obispo office are Cal Poly graduates in computer science who develop software for a variety of Amazon platforms such as Kindle Direct Publishing, CreateSpace and Prime.