When completed in 2019, Amazon’s planned fulfillment center in Bessemer, Ala., will employ 1,500 full-time workers. (Amazon photo)
Bessemer, Ala., inched closer to the world of e-commerce Oct. 2 as officials gathered to break ground on a new, 855,000-sq.-ft. Amazon fulfillment center.
The planned facility, scheduled for completion in 2019, will employ 1,500 full-time workers. The total investment for the project is estimated at $325 million.
"We are thrilled to bring our first fulfillment center to the state of Alabama, creating 1,500 full-time jobs," said Mark Stewart, Amazon's vice president of North America Customer Fulfillment, when the project was announced in June. "Alabama has a talented workforce and we look forward to making a positive economic impact in a state where we are committed to providing great job opportunities and an exceptional customer experience."
Amazon employees at the state-of-the-art fulfillment center will work alongside technology created by Amazon Robotics. Amazon's advanced technologies and robotics help employees complete jobs in a more efficient manner.
Employees at the fulfillment center will pick, pack and ship small items to customers such as books, household items and toys.
"Amazon is one of the world's most dynamic companies, and we couldn't be more proud to see the company select Alabama for one of its high-tech fulfillment centers," said Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey. "This facility represents good jobs for our citizens and the beginning of a long partnership that I believe will see Amazon expand and grow in Alabama in the future."
"I would like to officially welcome Amazon to The Marvel City of Bessemer," said Mayor Kenneth E. Gulley. "Words cannot truly express the excitement this announcement has brought to our city. By choosing to locate its Amazon Fulfillment Center here, Amazon is making the largest single private investment in the city of Bessemer's 131-year history. Amazon is bringing jobs and opportunity to our residents and students."
A study prepared by the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Alabama's Culverhouse School of Business projects the fulfillment center will contribute $203 million annually to the economic output of Jefferson county while adding $123 million to the county's GDP.
"Whenever a company of Amazon's panache enters a community, things improve," said David Carrington, Jefferson county commissioner.
"Not only does Amazon bring the Birmingham metro area a minimum of 1,500 good-paying jobs with full benefits, it also provides its employees a post high school education pathway with its tuition assistance program."