JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - More than 2,000 people turned up in Northwest Jacksonville Monday for the first of several Amazon job fairs, said city council member Reggie Gaffney.
Amazon is looking to fill 4,000 jobs for their warehouses currently under construction in the River City.
Prospective employees waited for three or more hours, withstanding mid-July heat, while lining the sidewalk outside the Legends Center in Northwest Jacksonville.
The big crowds meant equally big competition, but it didn't deter Jalayne Weeks, who drove to the area from Kingsland.
"It's like a needle in a haystack, one in how many other people, you know, but I'll give it a shot, can't hurt," Weeks said.
The turnout surprised Gaffney who said there's a tremendous need for jobs in his Northwest Jacksonville district.
"I had no idea it's going to be over 2,000 people for the first day," Gaffney said.
The warehouse jobs will make between $12 to $15 an hour. Gaffney said he was told the first facility by the airport will be open in September and that Amazon's goal is to hire in the inner city.
"We want everyone in Jacksonville, before this week is over, to have a job," Gaffney said.
Gaffney predicts more than 6,000 people will attend the three job fairs at the Legends Center. He said he's talking with Amazon representatives to possibly add additional job fairs due to demand.
For those who couldn't make it today, Amazon has five more job fairs coming up. All are scheduled from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the following days and locations:
• Monday, July 10, at Legends Center, 5130 Soutel Dr.
• Wednesday, July 12, at Legends Center, 5130 Soutel Dr.
• Friday, July 14, at Legends Center, 5130 Soutel Dr.
• Monday, July 17, at Prime F. Osborn III Convention Center, 1000 Water St.
• Wednesday, July 19, at Prime F. Osborn III Convention Center, 1000 Water St.
• Friday, July 21, at Prime F. Osborn III Convention Center, 1000 Water St.