Visalia Amazon fulfillment center to bring over 1,000 jobs

Amazon’s new fulfillment center aims to offer $15 minimum wage and variety of benefits, listed job postings are available now

VISALIA – The big 1.3 million square foot warehouse next to UPS at Riggin and Plaza in the Visalia Industrial Park is now only a few months from completion.

Construction started last September and the contractor working for Gray Construction who is building Visalia’s largest industrial warehouse said they were building it for e-commerce giant Amazon. But Amazon hadn’t made it known themselves until this week.

When asked for comment on recent job postings by Amazon listing the location as Visalia, Amazon Public Relations Specialist Eileen Hards responded on Monday, March 8, “We are expecting this fulfillment center to launch in early fall of this year.”

Hards said the Visalia Amazon site is expected to create over 1,000 full time jobs. Each job is expected to pay at least $15 per hour and offer a variety of benefits packages plus a 401(k) retirement plan with a 50% match.

“The company also offers up to 20 weeks of maternal and parental paid leave and innovative benefits such as Leave Share and Ramp Back, which give new parents flexibility with their growing families,” Hards said.

Job postings online this week include the Area Manager, Amazon-Visalia that lists a start date between April 1, 2021 and June 28, 2021. In addition, they are offering a number of positions in human resources, as well as warehouse and driver positions.

The future of an Amazon fulfillment center was out of bag last year when then Visalia mayor Bob Link said he attended a small groundbreaking for the ecommerce behemoth last fall. He said the, “Amazon project out on Riggin and Plaza. It’s a 1.3 million-square foot facility and it’s a huge piece of property that they have put a fence around. It’s going to be a great item for our community. It’s going to be partly robotics and partly people, so it is going to be an opportunity for a number of jobs to become available for the city of Visalia.”

Blake Steele with Gray Construction said the sprawling property is the third Amazon center he has worked on and projects that it will be completed in 11 months. Some 300 construction workers will be needed during the busiest months of the Visalia project. Kentucky-based Gray Construction is an Amazon contractor who secured the city building permit.

While 1,000 jobs is typically standard for a fulfillment center, Fresno’s long standing center created more than three times the amount.

Having a fulfillment center means Visalia will capture a portion of the $1.6 billion in state and local taxes, including payroll taxes, property taxes, state income taxes, and gross receipts taxes Amazon reported in 2019. Last year alone, Amazon collected and remitted nearly $9 billion in sales and use taxes to states and localities throughout the U.S. The recent enactment of “marketplace laws” by 40 states allows Amazon to legally collect state and local sales and use taxes on behalf of third-party sellers who sell their goods on their platform.

And those numbers may be underselling Amazon’s effect to the local economy as online sales continue to grow exponentially. Global e-commerce sales are projected to more than double to $6.5 trillion by 2023, according to Statista. The Boston Consulting Group estimates U.S. e-commerce sales will double to $1 trillion, growing at six times the rate of all retail transactions.

Those projections came before the coronavirus pandemic, which has prompted an explosion in online shopping by people avoiding brick-and-mortar stores because of stay-home orders or fear of being infected by the virus.

Start typing and press Enter to search