Amazon will establish its eighth fulfillment center in East Tennessee, creating 800 full-time employees “to engage with advanced robotics.” Governor Bill Lee issued the announcement on Wednesday in a joint press release with Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (TNECD) Commissioner Bob Rolfe, and Amazon spokespersons.
Located in the city of Alcoa, the distribution center will overtake property that was once a local golf course near Alcoa Highway and Pellissippi Parkway. According to a press release issued by the county’s development cooperative, Blount Partnership, employees will receive a starting wage of $15 an hour with full benefits and other perks, including 20 weeks of maternal and parental paid leave.
Talks for establishing this latest fulfillment center, code-named Project Pearl, began about a year ago. This development comes almost a year after Amazon established a similar fulfillment center in Memphis.
The governor expressed marked enthusiasm for the company’s decision to choose Tennessee.
“Thank you very much, Amazon! We are very excited in Tennessee, especially in the midst of a pandemic, where we need hopeful signs of recovery,” stated Lee. “We all need to know that the future is bright for this state, and I am certainly excited for the future. This announcement today is an opportunity for us to be reminded of the hope that lies ahead for us.”
The distribution center will add onto over 25,000 jobs Amazon has created in Tennessee, and over $8.7 billion in investments.
“It is a testament to the strength of Tennessee’s business climate that companies are attracted to our state and choose to operate and expand here,” stated Rolfe.
Amazon spokespersons thanked the local communities for welcoming this expansion.
“We’re really excited to partner with you, invest in your community – and this is just day one of that partnership,” remarked Amazon’s head of worldwide economic development, Holly Sullivan.
Amazon’s other fulfillment centers are located in Charleston, Chattanooga, Lebanon, Memphis, Murfreesboro, and Nashville. The company’s current project to establish a downtown Nashville office, Operations Center of Excellence, is anticipated to bring in over 5,000 jobs to the metro area.
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