Dubuque Amazon facility celebrates Black History Month, marks 2 million packages delivered

This week provided cause for multiple celebrations for employees at Dubuque’s Amazon delivery facility.

The Amazon warehouse — which opened Jan. 12, 2022, at 7200 Chavenelle Road — took time Tuesday to celebrate Black History Month by recognizing its employees, and also to mark 2 million packages delivered since opening.

“I was happy to see this,” Tarez Holman, an Amazon operations manager, said of the Black History Month celebration. “I think this was a good way to bring everyone together. It’s not about one culture, it’s about unity.”

Anderson Sainci spoke with a group of Amazon employees as part of the event. Sainci is the director of the City of Dubuque’s Office of Shared Prosperity & Neighborhood Support, and also the first Black man elected to the Dubuque Community School Board.

“Black history is not just one month,” Sainci said. “For a lot of us, it’s 365 days a year. It’s a lot of work to not only make everyone feel included every single day but also be their authentic self every single day.”

Sainci told employees to focus on setting goals for their future, and he also told the facility’s leaders to make sure their employees knew the company’s values and how each employee contributes to those values.

“Let’s not just talk about Black history without actions,” he said. “… If you’re winning right now in this organization or community, and the people around you are not winning, then you’re not winning. It’s one thing to talk, but people need to see what they can be.”

Christina Long and Lynnetta Tucker, who have been Amazon associates in Dubuque since June, both said the facility stresses teamwork, giving everyone a chance to be included in the workplace.

“Our leadership is pretty hands on and involved in pretty much every aspect of the job,” Long said.

“The job is not done without the whole team,” Tucker added. “It’s not just about one person.”

Dubuque’s Amazon facility also is in the process of launching a BEN — or Black Employee Network — affinity group, which should be fully up and running by April, according to Johannah Yeager, lead on road execution at the facility.

“It will focus on advocacy so that Black employee voice is heard,” she said. “It will also provide resources on how to build a resume and leadership skills.”

The facility donated $2,000 this month to Dubuque Black Men Coalition to support the group’s efforts in the community.

The Dubuque Amazon facility also marked delivering 2 million packages in its 60-mile radius since opening. The facility officially hit the milestone on Feb. 10.

The Dubuque facility employs about 115 associates in its warehouse, with around 30 people working a shift each morning. It also employs about 65 drivers and has about 100 additional active “flex drivers” who use their own vehicles.

The facility currently delivers about 7,500 packages per day, though that number is expected to be back up to around 10,000 by mid-March.

“That’s amazing to me,” Yeager said. “Looking at our numbers, we delivered 277 packages on our first day. To do 2 million in a little over a year is so cool.”