The 600-plus jobs Amazon.com plans to hire at a massive new facility in Kannapolis will mostly be ones that are full-time and physically demanding, requiring workers to use carts, conveyers and industrial trucks to lift and carry large boxes of customer orders.
The e-commerce giant won approval for an incentives package from Kannapolis City Council Monday night to help build a new 1 million square-foot, $85 million distribution center. There it will house and ship larger customer goods including kayaks, rugs, patio furniture, bikes and rakes, a spokeswoman said. The facility is expected to open sometime in 2019.
Associates at the distribution center will be responsible for stowing inventory, picking items to fulfill customer orders, packing orders and shipping them out, the spokeswoman added.
Amazon will also be hiring for managers, IT professionals, human resources and inventory specialists. The hiring process for the new Kannapolis facility hasn’t yet started.
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Kannapolis workers will be paid “competitive wages,” which will be higher than the state minimum of $7.25 an hour. Amazon says its new local employees will receive stock awards, 401(k), bonuses and up to 20 weeks of paid parental leave, among other benefits.
Spread over three years, the grant from the city will total $562,275, or 85 percent of the personal property taxes paid by the company during that time. Cabarrus County commissioners will consider incentives for the company at their meeting Monday.
Additionally, the N.C. Department of Transportation will spend $2.7 million on improvements on N.C. 73, Kannapolis spokeswoman Annette Privette Keller said. The new facility will be on Macedonia Church Road, off N.C. 73 and Kannapolis Parkway just east of the Coddle Creek Reservoir.
The N.C. Commerce Department, which provides tax incentives for job creation, is not involved with the project. Just last week, the state approved a roughly $23.7 million incentives package for Allstate, which will create 2,250 jobs in a Charlotte expansion project spanning three years.
“Along with the state’s natural advantages – factors such as our workforce and overall transportation network – we felt the state and our local partners made a compelling offer to Amazon and we’re pleased with the company’s decision,” Commerce spokesman David Rhoades told the Observer.
The Kannapolis facility adds to Amazon’s growing presence in the Charlotte region. The company began expanding its receiving center on Old Dowd Road last summer, for instance, and employs hundreds at its distribution center in Concord, just a few miles from the planned Kannapolis center. It’s also a hub for Prime Air cargo service at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.
The facilities in Charlotte and Concord will remain open after the Kannapolis center opens, the spokeswoman said.
In addition, Amazon announced this summer its plans to buy the upscale grocery chain Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, a move that will likely heat up grocery-store competition in Charlotte, experts say, because Amazon is expected to lower grocery prices at Whole Foods.