Military experience and Amazon skills help stand up COVID-19 test sites
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, hundreds of thousands of Amazonians have been on the front lines proudly serving their communities, but few quite like Evan Cartwright.
Cartwright, an Operations Manager at TPA1 outside of Tampa, FL, also serves in the Florida Army National Guard. As COVID-19 spread across the country, his unit was activated by the governor of Florida to help establish a testing center in Orlando.
For three weeks Cartwright, a First Lieutenant in the 3-265th Air Defense Artillery Battalion, used the skills he developed at Amazon to keep critical supplies flowing to the testing site. Cartwright said it was a mission unlike any he'd ever been a part of.
“Most of the Florida Army National Guard's activations are in response to hurricanes where we provide security, use our larger vehicles to reach flooded areas, distribute food and water, or assist in running shelters,” Cartwright said.
As the logistics officer he was responsible for coordinating with leaders from the state and federal level to arrange lodging, meals, and transportation for the nurses, soldiers and law enforcement working at the testing center. But most importantly he had to make sure there were enough testing kits and personal protective equipment, PPE, to stay open and safe as supplies were running low across the country.
Cartwright says because of his job at Amazon, he knew how to quickly develop systems to track how much PPE was being used daily and how long their stock of testing kits would last. Because of those systems, Cartwright and his unit was recognized for their “intense number tracking” which ended up helping other testing sites in Florida too.
"I am honored to have had the opportunity to serve my community and play a small part in our country recovering from this crisis," he said.
After three weeks getting the testing site up and running, Cartwright returned to his team at TPA1. Director of Operations Stephen Greer called Cartwright’s commitment to serving his community and his country inspiring.
“He truly understands the importance of service for a greater purpose,” said TPA1 Director of Operations Stephen Greer. “We are very proud of the work he is doing, and we will continue to support him as he focuses on supporting our country and community during this difficult time.”
In May 2016, Jeff Bezos committed to hiring 25,000 veterans and military spouses over five years. Today, there are more than 30,000 veterans and military spouses working at Amazon.