Amazon to re-program human workforce

            <img src="" border="0" /><em>Amazon has increasingly turned to robots and automation technology to fetch products from the shelves of its warehouses to ship to customers. Now the company says it needs to help its workers adapt to the rapid change.

The e-commerce giant said on Thursday that it planned to spend $700 million to retrain a third of its workers in the United States, an acknowledgment that advances in technology are remaking the role of workers in nearly every industry.

Amazon is planning to spend $700 million over the next five years retraining 100,000 human workers to help smooth a transition toward greater automation in its operations. 

“When automation comes in, it changes the nature of work but there are still pieces of work that will be done by people,” Ardine Williams, Amazon’s vice president of people operations, told The New York Times. She added, “You have the opportunity to up-skill that population they can, for example, work with the robots.”

The retraining effort, according to The New York Times, will include software engineering classes, part of the company’s plan to fill a growing need for data mapping specialists, data scientists, security engineers, and logistics coordinators.

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