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Jax Daily Record Wednesday, Oct. 11, 201706:50 AM EST

Amazon plans to create 5,000 Jacksonville jobs

Fulfillment center general managers say they’re still looking for more workers.
by: David Cawton Associate Editor plans to create up to 5,000 jobs in Jacksonville at its two fulfillment centers, bringing positions to Northwest and West Jacksonville that are being filled by the regional workforce.

General managers for the two centers said Tuesday they have not filled all those positions. 

Bernard Schmidt

Bernard Schmidt, general manager for Amazon’s 12900 Pecan Park Road fulfillment center, said the company has hired between 2,500 and 3,500 full-time employees at his facility, which opened Aug. 31.

When asked for a specific head count, Schmidt said the company “won’t put a number to that.” 

“We’ll adjust that number depending on customer demand, and what we need to do to fulfill our orders,” said Schmidt. 

He said customer demand also would determine the number of seasonal employees that will be hired during the holiday shopping season. 

Schmidt and John Fogarty, general manager of the Cecil Commerce Center fulfillment facility, attended a check presentation Tuesday at which Amazon donated $50,000 to the Clay County School District.

The 855,000-square-foot, multilevel center in Northwest Jacksonville fulfills orders for smaller consumer items and is an Amazon robotics facility with 20 miles of conveyor track. The building contains 2.4 million square feet of space.

The Seattle-based Internet retailer opened a second fulfillment center Sunday at 13333 103rd St. in AllianceFlorida at Cecil Commerce Center in West Jacksonville.

John Fogarty

General Manager John Fogarty said 311 full-time employees have been hired and Amazon plans to fill 1,500 full-time positions and about 300 part-time or seasonal openings for the holidays.

He said the new employees bring “a lot of energy every day.” 

“We’ve had a lot of success finding employees here,” said Fogarty of the talent pool. He said employees from as far as Georgia have been hired. 

Fogarty said construction at the 1 million-square-foot facility, which fills orders for large consumer items, is about 90 percent complete. 

He said during the busiest weeks, the center will process about 430,000 items with the largest volume the second week of December, “where we expect to process 450,000 units that week alone.”

Fogarty said the fulfillment center will work closely with large logistics companies like United Parcel Service Inc.

UPS is developing a $196 million expansion at its 4420 Imeson Road ground-package hub.  The site is within 20 miles of both Amazon fulfillment centers.  

FedEx Ground Package System Inc. also has expanded by developing a 300,000-square-foot distribution and sorting facility at AllianceFlorida at Cecil Commerce Center. 

Since the Westside Amazon center focuses on larger items, Fogarty said the company trains most employees to use forklifts to unload the arriving inventory.

Grand openings for both fulfillment centers will be scheduled for after the first of the year, Amazon executives said.

Amazon has four facilities in Northwest, North and West Jacksonville. 

The company has not said how many employees it plans to hire for the sortation center at Westside Industrial Park or a delivery station in the Alta Lakes Commerce Center in North Jacksonville. 

The city and state pledged $26.7 million in taxpayer incentives in exchange for Amazon hiring 825 positions at the two fulfillment centers paying an average $50,000 a year. The bulk of its employees are distribution center workers making $12 to $16 an hour.

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