Diamonds in the Rough: URBN’s Reno Fulfillment Center Employees

banner-diversityI was combing through news articles, regarding the booming sector known as e-commerce, and ran into an article titled, “Reno poised for growth with Internet fulfillment Centers” from the Reno Gazette-Journal. This struck a chord with me because I could relate to the industry, company, as well as the location. It is no secret I work for the fulfillment center the article discusses and I concur with primary point of the article. I took a big risk settling in the Reno area even knowing it had one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation. The article gave me tremendous hope for the economic development of Northern Nevada as well as employment opportunities for the people of Reno; however, I disagreed greatly with an implied statement regarding people who obtain jobs in fulfillment centers.

The article states, “One concern about targeting fulfillment centers is the type of jobs they usually provide outside of management. They’re blue-collar jobs, so these are not computer scientists…these are not going to be the most lucrative jobs, but when you’re situated in places (like Northern Nevada), where the economy is really challenged, some jobs are better than no jobs.” When read at face value, the interpretation could be lost and become a common statement. Being immersed in the industry and with people who hold fulfillment jobs, I took the context in an offensive manner. The jobs may be blue collar, but these people are not simple people. Although the article is correct in stating they are not computer scientists, it would have been accurate to state that some employees had previously held professions as doctors and lawyers. To think less of them because they’re not credentialed to practice their former profession in the United States is an insult to their intelligence. These people are diamonds in the rough and I’m fortunate to have them on my team.

It is cliché to say, “People are our greatest asset.” For the most part, everybody says it, but never does anything about it. In an environment where I am continuously looking to improve processes to optimize performance, it has been an incredible blessing to have people within my team who display significant aptitude in identifying root causes of defects. Not only are they able to identify them, they provide valuable feedback during the implementation phase of a solution.

It must be said that not everyone one of them are doctors and lawyers, but I will still defend their body of work as a whole. While they may not have the most “lucrative” job, the people who work at URBN’s Reno Fulfillment center make the company better. Their efforts will undoubtedly elevate the company’s posture in e-commerce because they are technically skilled, highly innovative, and incredibly motivated.

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