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New high-tech Amazon facility to boost company’s Utah workforce to 5,000

A worker retrieves an item from high up on one of the numerous aisles inside the newly opened Amazon fulfillment center in South Jordan on Monday, Sept. 14, 2020.
A worker retrieves an item from high up on one of the numerous aisles inside the newly opened Amazon fulfillment center in West Jordan on Monday, Sept. 14, 2020.
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

WEST JORDAN — One of the world’s largest retailers is expanding its presence in the Beehive State and adding hundreds of new jobs in the process.

Global online retailer Amazon is set to officially open its newest fulfillment center on Old Bingham Highway in West Jordan. The 1 million square foot facility will process millions of packages purchased by customers in Utah, the region and sometimes abroad, according to Amazon spokeswoman Anne Laughlin.

She also noted the company will be making a major hiring push over the next several months.

“We’re hiring 100,000 full- and part-time permanent employees across our operations network in the U.S. and in Canada. Those will be employees helping to pick, pack and ship customer orders, as well as deliver those orders to customers’ doorsteps,” she said. “In Utah, we’re hiring over 1,500 new full- and part-time employees. This announcement is not specifically related to these seasonal holiday hiring, so these are regular jobs.”

She noted the new hires will work at one of the company’s fulfillment centers or at one of the delivery stations.

In addition to the new West Jordan fulfillment center, Amazon also recently opened a new delivery station in Salt Lake City, and the expansion continues with another facility that is due to begin operations next month, she said.

A worker operates a lift as it moves from aisle to aisle retreating products inside the newly opened Amazon fulfillment center in South Jordan on Monday, Sept. 14, 2020.
A worker operates a lift as it moves from aisle to aisle retreating products inside the newly opened Amazon fulfillment center in West Jordan on Monday, Sept. 14, 2020.
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

“We will be launching a new sort center. It’s near the (Salt Lake City International) airport and it assists our operations, like our Amazon robotics center,” Laughlin said. “That is going to open sometime next month.”

With the launch of these new buildings, the company will increase its local workforce to more than 5,000 full-time employees in Utah, she said. Nationally, Amazon employs more than 600,000 people in the United States.

The Amazon expansion has been among the key factors that has helped the state’s economic recovery since the coronavirus pandemic began to wreak havoc in mid-March. Today, Utah has one of the lowest jobless rates in the country, which could bode well for the many Utahns who may have lost their job due to the impact of the pandemic.

“We are thrilled to begin hiring for this fulfillment center particularly because we are launching a brand new service for customers here in Utah,” said site leader Ben Anderson. “Associates will pick, pack and ship large items such as bulk cleaning supplies and paper goods, pet food and supplies, patio furniture, baby strollers, (as well as) outdoor sports equipment like kayaks, skis and fishing gear.

“This is the first building of this type in Amazon’s Utah operations which means customers will be able to get large items that much faster.”

The minimum wage at the new fulfillment facility will be $15 per hour, which will also include comprehensive full health, vision and dental insurance, a 401(k) retirement plan with 50 percent match, along with up to 20 weeks of paid parental leave, Laughlin explained.

She said workers will also have access to Amazon’s CareerChoice program, which pre-pays 95 percent of tuition for courses in high-demand fields like game design, nursing, IT programming, among other areas of study.

The company has also pledged to invest more than $700 million to provide up-skill training for 100,000 U.S. employees for in-demand jobs. The programs will help employees access training to move into high-skill roles throughout Amazon’s corporate offices, tech hubs, fulfillment centers, retails stores, transportation network, or to pursue career paths outside of Amazon, a news release states.

Raelee Whipple, process assistant at the newly opened Amazon fulfillment center in South Jordan, works to move packages through the system on Monday, Sept. 14, 2020.
Raelee Whipple, process assistant at the newly opened Amazon fulfillment center in West Jordan, works to move packages through the system on Monday, Sept. 14, 2020.
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

“We are pleased to see Amazon’s continued growth in the state of Utah, creating thousands of new jobs in our communities, which is good news particularly during these unprecedented times,” said Val Hale, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.

“Whether you’re a recent college graduate or you may recently have lost a job due to COVID-19, Amazon’s new customer fulfillment and delivery facilities are offering jobs with great pay and benefits, and career development opportunities close to home.”

Hiring for Amazon’s West Jordan fulfillment center is currently underway, Laughlin said. Potential candidates must be at least 18 years and have a high school diploma or equivalent for consideration. Interested applicants can find information on job openings on the company’s website or text SLCNOW2 to 77088 to sign up for text alerts.

Correction: In an earlier version, photo captions incorrectly said the center was in South Jordan. It is in West Jordan.