HANOVER TWP. — Chewy.com, an online pet supply retailer, expects to fill over 700 job openings with local people — up about 100 positions from the original estimate last winter.
The retailer opened its fifth fulfillment center in Hanover Township in early June. There are approximately 350 workers hired thus far, said the company’s head of public relations, Roxsanne Tai. That leaves about 350 more jobs.
The 808,000 square-foot building is Chewy’s largest facility and will serve the Northeast U.S., said Gregg Walsh, the corporation’s vice president of human resource operations. The company is based out of Dania Beach, Florida.
Walsh said the center is offering positions at “competitive wages for the market.”
He added there are opportunities to grow as employees learn professional skills.
“There’s a consistent track record at all of our other sites that folks can come in at entry-level positions and grow with the company, and grow quickly,” Walsh said.
Chewy opened its first fulfillment center in Mechanicsburg three years ago, Walsh said. It has since opened sites in Reno, Nevada; Clayton, Indiana; and Dallas, Texas.
He explained the Hanover Township location was selected for three reasons: its proximity to the Northeast and New York, the area’s labor market, and available property to erect such a large structure.
The Chewy building is in an area of the Hanover Industrial Park that was previously coal-scarred. The land was purchased by a Kansas City-based real estate firm, called NorthPoint Development, last year.
NorthPoint vice president Brent Miles told the Times Leader in December that the new buildings will total about 2 million square feet and will have the potential to create 1,500 to 2,000 jobs.
Chewy is the first building, at 600 New Commerce Boulevard.
Joe Sivick has been working in human resources at the local center.
“I can honestly say that I’ve never had a bad day working here,” Sivick said. The Wilkes-Barre native already plans to work for the company for the rest of his life, even after such a short time on the job.
“The opportunity for growth is just endless,” he added.
In addition to job creation, the company also focuses on its primary customers — pets.
“Whenever we come in a community, we always want to be able to partner with the organizations that are doing great things to support pets and animals,” said Tai.
“Right now, we’re working very closely with the SPCA of Luzerne County. They are doing incredible work in the community. We work with them so we can provide them with donations, and every time they have an event, we are able to partner in some way.”
Reach Toni Pennello at 570-991-6121 or on Twitter at @TLNews.