The new site, located in Kent, Wash. is expected to be 1 million square feet. Currently, Amazon has two other fulfillment centers in Washington, one located in Sumner and the other in Bellevue. A third, in DuPont, Wash. site is near completion, Amazon stated.
"We're excited to bring hundreds of great full-time jobs with benefits to Kent and proud to further invest in Washington state with this new fulfillment center," said Mike Roth, Amazon's vice president of North America operations. "We are grateful to local and state elected officials who have supported Amazon in bringing a new fulfillment center to the state of Washington."
At the facility, Amazon employees will pick, pack and ship small items to customers such as books, electronics and consumer goods.The new site comes as the giant e-retailer announced that it would be hiking its price for Amazon Prime, its two-day shipping subscription service, to $99 from $79. Amazon launched Prime nine years ago in the North America, but has kept the $79 price steady even as fuel and transportation costs have increased over the years. CFO Thomas Szkutak said on the company's most recent earnings call in January that given customers are using the service more, Amazon is considering upping the price between $20-$40 in the U.S. Amazon said last month it's hiring 2,500 full-time workers for its growing fulfillment centers in the U.S. The company currently has fulfillment centers in 14 states. Amazon was sure to point out that the median pay inside the fulfillment centers is 30% higher than traditional retail jobs. Employees also receive comprehensive benefits as early as their first day on the job, bonuses and stock awards. The company is also touting its 'Career Choice' employee program, where the company will pre-pay up to 95% of tuition for courses related to in-demand fields, regardless of whether the skills are relevant to a career at Amazon. Since the program's launch last summer, employees have pursued degrees in game design and visual communications, nursing, IT programming and radiology, among others, the company says. --Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York. Follow @LKulikowski
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