KANNAPOLIS, N.C. — Amazon is an unmistakeable retail giant, with tens of thousands of jobs across the country, and an economic impact of millions of dollars.
At this point, it's a household name and a growing convenience. It won't be long until another one of the company's fulfillment centers official opens up in Kernersville, bringing 1,000 full-time jobs and even faster shipping to customers.
Amazon representatives say hiring will begin toward the end of the summer, with a Triad launch toward the end of 2020, before the holiday season.
To get a feel for how our facility will look, WFMY News 2 took a tour inside a similar facility in Kannapolis, where the wheels haven't stopped turning since July 2018.
"It definitely takes a lot of employees and a lot of associates, a lot of good hard-working people to operate," said General Manager Shannon Todd.
Todd says it takes 1,000 workers handling all parts of the process, in a facility more than a million square feet in size.
"It's roughly the size of 17 football fields."
Every day, tens of thousands of packages are received, stowed, packed and shipped out to customers.
"We have a lot of products that are larger," Todd said, "So, think about bags of dog food, pallets of water, canoes, fishing poles things of that nature."
Smiles aren't only on the boxes, but also on the faces of workers like Paulese Hicks.
"It was a life-changing decision because it offered the flexibility. That's what attracted me to the job," she said, "I like it. I like being around different people and just learning different things."
Desirae Silvers drivers an order picker, and says there's never a shortage of things to do.
"It's a lot sometimes but it's very exciting, and it's really fun," she said, "I tell people all the time that it's a great place to work."
Ashley Hannah likes the potential to grow her career.
"I mean, I want to take Shannon's spot at some point! That's my goal," she said, "I was in management for 10 years so I want to be able to step up."
Starting out, full-time employees make $15 an hour, plus get full benefits - medical, vision, and dental and a 401(k) with a 50 percent match from the company.
One of three Amazon fulfillment centers in the Charlotte area, the company isn't only proud of the work inside the building.
"You get to see a lot of the businesses in the surrounding community grow because we bring people here," Todd said, "That's been one of the best parts working here, to be honest with you."
Back in Kernersville, community leaders are buzzing about what Amazon's footprint will look like.
"Wow, what is this going to mean for all of us?" said Kernersville Chamber of Commerce President Chris Comer, "It's important when folks have a job that they really love, that they are going to want to stay in that community. They're going to want to build their families here and do all of those fun things when they're not at work."
Come summer 2020, the Kernersville jobs will be posted, giving potentially thousands a chance to apply and get their foot in the door with a company putting down roots and investing in the Triad.
Interested candidates can learn more about working at an Amazon fulfillment center by visiting http://www.amazondelivers.jobs/.
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