Amazon will open two new fulfillment centers in the Inland Empire, in Redlands and Eastvale, adding 2,000 more jobs, the company announced Thursday.
The online retailer already operates similar centers in those two cities, as well as San Bernardino, Moreno Valley and Rialto.
In Eastvale, future Amazon employees will process smaller customer items, such as books, electronics and toys at a 1 million-square-foot facility now under construction, developed by the Australia-based Goodman Group.
Future Amazon employees at the 750,000-square-foot Redlands facility being developed by San Francisco-based Prologis will handle larger customer items, such as sports equipment, patio furniture and pet food.
The Redlands site, at 27517 Pioneer Ave., is expected to open by mid-2017, Amazon spokeswoman Ashley Robinson, said. The Eastvale location, which is in an early phase of construction at 4950 Goodman Way, will open sometime in 2018.
“We’re very pleased that Amazon continues to partner with the city of Redlands in terms of its expansion in the Inland Empire,” Redlands Mayor Paul Foster said in an interview. “Amazon is a well-known corporate entity that is bringing great jobs to the Inland Empire, so we’re very pleased with the announcement that was issued today.”
The new employees, Foster said, in turn, will help existing Redlands businesses and provide a boost to the economy.
“Every one of these employees are frequenting Redlands businesses, spending money in our community, so every dollar they pay is a dollar that might come back into our retail establishments,” Foster said.
Kathie Thurston, executive director of the Redlands Chamber of Commerce, echoed the anticipation.
“I think anytime we get an announcement suggesting we’re getting more jobs in the area is a good thing, not only for the city, but the region and the entire county,” Thurston said in a phone interview. “When people work in a particular area, they often shop there. Hopefully, they also live there. There’s a tremendous cornerstone with these kinds of job applications that create a tremendous synergy in the economic environment of the community.”
Across the state, more than 15,000 full-time Amazon employees process and ship customer orders at nine existing California fulfillment centers in San Bernardino, Eastvale, Redlands, Rialto, Moreno Valley, Tracy and Patterson, in addition to sortation centers in San Bernardino and Newark. A fulfillment center in Sacramento is currently under construction and is expected to open later this year, according to Amazon.
“This is a really exciting project for us because of the jobs that will be coming,” Eastvale City Manager Michele Nissen said by phone.
Because of increased demand for the Inland Empire Amazon facilities, Nissen said, “retailers in this position have to expand, otherwise they’re going to lose market share to other competitors.”
John Husing, chief economist for the Inland Empire Economic Partnership, said that in addition to jobs, Amazon provides a boost to the economy in another way — education.
Amazon’s Career Choice program, offered to Amazon associates who have had at least one year of experience working for the company, pre-pays up to 95 percent of tuition for college courses related to in-demand fields, regardless of whether the employee’s skills are relevant to a career at Amazon. More than 9,000 employees have pursued degrees in game design and visual communications, nursing, IT programming and radiology, among others, since the program began, according to Amazon.
“They’re giving their workforce, thousands in each case, after a year of employment, the opportunity to take whatever course they want within occupations that are certified to be growing at the company’s expense,” Husing said.
For information about working at an Amazon fulfillment center, go to www.amazondelivers.jobs/.
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