Amazon unveils plan to retrain 100K employees

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SEATTLE (CBS) At a 125,000-square-foot facility just outside Denver, it looks like robots are running the show.

But behind each of the roughly 800 robots is a skilled employee like Nicole Bayer, who manages the daily flow of traffic at the center as a floor control specialist.

"This is where we follow the packages in real time," Bayer said.

Bayer says more robots mean higher package volume. And with more volume, they need more associates to package it.

Worldwide Consumer CEO Jeff Wilke described how those programs work.

"It's kind of like grad school," he said.

And the programs' names feel collegiate, from Machine Learning University for Onsite Training to Amazon Technical Academy for software engineer roles.

"Creating great jobs means that people have a career that's more than just the job they enter. We've deployed about 200,000 robots," Wilke said. "At the same time, we've added 300,000 people."

As technology races forward, the number of companies investing in training their current employees will climb from 54 percent in 2018 to 84 percent by next year, according to a Manpower Group study.

"Digital talent is not a luxury anymore," said Ari Ginsberg, a business professor at New York University.

Ginsberg says so-called upskilling programs help companies retain their employees and keep recruiting costs down.

"If you don't know how to manage technology and incorporate it... you can fall behind quickly," Ginsberg said.

As for Amazon, drones may soon be delivering your packages but the company says humans are here to stay.

According to a 2018 world economic jobs report, by 2022 at least 54 percent of employees in all industries will require significant upskilling due to artificial intelligence and other automation technologies.