In the West Valley, Amazon is delivering—and not just hats, mouse traps, electronics, books (which is how the company started) and thousands of other items people have been ordering during the pandemic.
Amazon is about to deliver jobs by the hundreds.
Less than a month after striking out with Nike, which backed out of a plan for a facility here, Goodyear hit a home run with the largest retailer in the world.
Last week, Amazon said it was creating 11 new sites across the Valley—including two major facilities in Goodyear and a “Merch by Amazon” store in Avondale.
Amazon is building another cross-dock facility on Sweetwater Avenue and Litchfield Road in Surprise, near northwest Peoria, so delivery trucks soon will be rumbling up and down Loop 303.
Though Amazon has been doing great business since shutdowns and stay-home orders during the COVID-19 pandemic, the West Valley expansion “isn’t necessarily tied to the pandmeic,” said Matthew High, regional director of Amazon fulfillment.
“We planned out several years in advance and put a process into where we wanted to locate our facilities. We look at the workforce and community partners—and Phoenix has an abundance of talented workforce. We aim to be as close to our customers as possible,” High said.
He said Amazon plans to have the robotic fulfillment center up and running in Goodyear by the end of the year.
In it, High said vacuum-cleaner-sized robots will help sort and pick inventory. “It will increase efficiency for our associates and cut down on shipping cycle time,” he said.
The new sites are expected to create more than 3,000 jobs with a minimum $15-per-hour wage “and comprehensive benefits starting on day one.”
Near Yuma Road and South Bullard Avenue in Goodyear, construction workers are creating an 855,000-square-foot warehouse.
There, according to a press release, “employees will work alongside Amazon Robotics to pick, pack and ship small items to customers such as books, electronics and toys.”
In 2021, Amazon plans a cross-dock facility in Goodyear and a delivery station in Surprise, creating hundreds more full-time jobs in the West Valley.
“We just can’t get enough Amazon in Goodyear,” gushed Mayor Georgia Lord.
Local resident Amber Kinion, for one, is less thrilled. “Litchfield (Road) used to be so peaceful! Now if you’re out in the morning you get caught in a wave of Amazon vans and if you’re out in the evening you’ll be waiting for a gas pump because they’re all there,” she commented on the West Valley View’s Facebook post about Amazon plans.
Those looking for jobs—especially in the pandemic economy that has tossed thousands out of work—will side with Lord.
Though robots will be doing some of the work, the Goodyear Amazon Robotics center will create more than 1,000 human jobs.
This will be Amazon’s second robotics facility in the state and the only Amazon Robotics facility in the metro Phoenix area.
More than 1,000 full-time associates will work alongside Amazon Robotics to pick, pack and ship smaller customer items, such as books, toys and kitchenware. The new four-story facility is the largest building ever built in the city—the fulfillment center’s footprint is 855,000 square feet. With four levels, the building spans more than 2.3 million square feet.
In 2008, Amazon opened its first Goodyear fulfillment center, where more than 600 full-time employees pick, pack and ship large items to customers, such as oversized boxes of diapers, dog food and paper towels.
Goodyear is also home to a delivery station and office team.
Currently, more than 900 full-time employees support Amazon operations in Goodyear.
High said Amazon will hire for a variety of positions, from associates who pick and pack merchandise to IT and engineers.
The cross-dock transportation hub will be at Indian School Road and Cotton Lane, High said.
Last month, Amazon bought the 90-acre site for $20 million.
The Goodyear location will be Amazon’s first cross-dock facility in the state. It is also scheduled to open by year’s end with 1,000 full-time positions. The 600,000-square-foot building will support customer fulfillment by receiving large orders of inventory and redistributing products to fulfillment centers across the company’s operations network.
“Amazon recognizes Goodyear as a top choice among cities in which to do business,” Lord said. “Despite the pandemic, development in our city is thriving. The future is very bright in the city of Goodyear, and we are thrilled that Amazon will contribute to our continued growth.”
As Amazon announced its wide-ranging plans, it joined politicians and job seekers in celebrating.
“It’s a great day for Amazon,” High said.
For information about Amazon job openings, visit amazon.com/phoenixjobs.