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Amazon to open 2nd Utah fulfillment center

By Art Raymond, KSL | Posted - Aug 19th, 2019 @ 8:14pm



WEST JORDAN — Just a year after opening its first, and expansive new shipping center near the Salt Lake City International Airport, Amazon announced plans Monday to open another, and even larger, facility in West Jordan.

The company said its new fulfillment center will employ more than 800, adding to the 2,000 current full-time Amazon “associates” working in Utah.

“We’re excited to open a new, state-of-the-art fulfillment center in West Jordan and to continue innovating in a state committed to providing great opportunities for jobs and customer experience,” Alicia Boler Davis, Amazon’s vice president of global customer fulfillment, said in a statement.

“Utah has a talented workforce, and we are very excited to grow employment beyond the more than 2,000 associates already serving customers in the state.”

Most of those employees are tasked with working alongside robots — the machines outnumber employees at Amazon’s 855,000 square-foot Salt Lake facility — and are earning around $15 per hour since the company established that figure as its corporate minimum wage in late 2018.

An Amazon spokesman said it’s physically impossible for any single shipping center to contain the entirety of the online retailer’s merchandise, and many items are shipped by third parties, but the Salt Lake facility does stock 15 million of the company’s “most popular” items. He also noted that Utah’s only Amazon operation specializes in small-to-midsize items, and most of the packages going out the door are headed to customers in Utah and nearby areas.

The new facility in West Jordan will be even larger than its first in Utah, “at more than 1 million square feet” and will specialize in “large customer items, such as sports equipment, patio furniture, fishing rods, pet food, kayaks, bicycles, and larger household goods,” according to an Amazon news release. Most of the new employees will be charged with picking, packing and shipping those items.

West Jordan Mayor Jim Riding said his community is “thrilled” with the announcement.

“West Jordan is thrilled to welcome a new Amazon fulfillment center,” Riding said in a statement. “Amazon’s decision to invest here reflects confidence in the city’s business environment and excellent workforce.

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“This project, with approximately 800 new jobs, will provide our residents with even greater opportunity to work close to home. To the folks at Amazon, thank you for selecting the city of West Jordan for this new facility. We are proud to partner with you and are encouraged by the additional growth this project will bring.”

Amazon received a $5.7 million post-performance tax incentive package from the Governor’s Office of Economic Development for the Salt Lake project, but the potential rebates are only for 130 of the positions at that facility. Those are the only jobs that pay over the Salt Lake County average wage.

Gov. Gary Herbert lauded Amazon for doubling down on its Utah investment and called the state the “perfect place” for another shipping center.

“We are pleased that Amazon has chosen Utah again for such a strategic part of Amazon’s business by setting up another fulfillment center in West Jordan,” Herbert said in a statement. “As the ‘Crossroads of the West,’ Utah is the perfect place for companies in the distribution, fulfillment and logistics industries to enjoy great success.

“This is another example of the strength of Utah’s economy and the high quality of life we enjoy.”

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