The online retail giant has announced plans to expand into Ohio with the creation of two new Amazon robotics fulfilment centres.
The new fulfilment centres in Akron and Rossford will occupy a footprint of more than 700,000sq ft each and will be used to pick, pack and ship small items to customers, such as books and electronics. Amazon says the development will create more than 2,500 full-time jobs in Ohio, where it already employs 8,500 people, with “opportunities to work alongside Amazon robotics in an industry-leading workplace”.
Amazon vice president of global customer fulfilment Alicia Boler Davis said: “Ohio has been a great place to do business, serve customers and create jobs; as a result, we are thrilled to develop two state-of-the-art fulfilment centres in Akron and Rossford. We're excited to grow our team in the Buckeye state.”
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine commented: “Amazon continues to demonstrate confidence in the great workforce and e-commerce business climate we have in Ohio. I’m pleased to welcome two additional investments from Amazon, which bring thousands of new jobs to Ohio and cutting-edge facilities to Akron and Rossford.”
The announcement follows reports of strike action and protests at fulfilment centres across the UK, parts of Europe and the US during its infamous Prime shopping event.
At the time, Amazon disputed the claims and accused certain groups who were encouraging and raising awareness of the action were “conjuring misinformation to work in their favour”.
Revealing its plans today, the business was keen to stress that all associates working at the centres will go through hours of safety training and ongoing coaching. It also worked to highlight the benefits of working for Amazon, adding that, on top of Amazon’s $15 minimum wage, the company offers full-time employees comprehensive benefits including full medical, vision, and dental insurance as well as a 401(k) with 50% match from day one.
Amazon has pledged to invest over $700million to provide upskilling training for 100,000 of its US employees for in-demand jobs. Staff at the new fulfilment centres are promised access to continuing education opportunities through the retailer’s upskilling programmes, such as Career Choice in which 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.
“Amazon has been a strong partner in Ohio, creating more than 8,500 jobs here that have brought benefits and health care on day one,” said JobsOhio president and chief investment officer J.P. Nauseef.
He added: “JobsOhio and our regional and local partners welcome these new facilities that will employ 2,500 Ohioans, revitalise an Akron neighbourhood, and bring Amazon’s largest Northwest Ohio investment to Rossford.”