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Amazon announces plans to open a fourth fulfillment center in Kent

For the Reporter

Amazon.com, Inc. on Friday announced plans to open a nearly one million-square-foot fulfillment center in Kent, creating hundreds of full-time jobs at the site when it opens, the company said in a news release.

It will be the company's fourth fulfillment center in the state. Amazon's other centers are in Sumner and Bellevue, and a soon-to-be-open site in DuPont.

"We're excited to bring hundreds of great full-time jobs with benefits to Kent and proud to further invest in Washington state with this new fulfillment center," said Mike Roth, Amazon's vice president of North America operations. "We are grateful to local and state elected officials who have supported Amazon in bringing a new fulfillment center to the state of Washington."

"Amazon's expansion is great news for the people who will be working in the hundreds of great jobs there, as well as for all of Washington," said Gov. Jay Inslee. "Amazon is a marquee company for how Washington innovation can change the world."

Amazon offers hourly employees innovative programs like Career Choice, where the company will pre-pay up to 95 percent of tuition for courses related to in-demand fields, regardless of whether the skills are relevant to a career at Amazon. Since the program's launch last summer, employees are pursuing degrees in game design and visual communications, nursing, IT programming and radiology, to name a few.

Amazon fulfillment center jobs pay on average 30 percent more than traditional retail jobs. In addition to highly competitive wages, Amazon also offers comprehensive benefits on day one, bonuses and stock awards.

"Amazon's latest expansion of their hometown footprint, bringing so many great jobs, is extremely important to help grow and diversify the Kent Valley economy," said Brian Bonlender, director for the Washington State Department of Commerce. "The company's decision also highlights the numerous advantages that attract and keep world-class employers in Washington State, including a highly competitive business climate, well-educated workforce and outstanding quality of life. We are proud that Amazon continues to invest in our state and look forward to supporting their growth."

At the facility, Amazon employees will pick, pack and ship small items to customers such as books, electronics and consumer goods.

"Amazon's decision to invest in Kent is a tremendous vote of confidence in our community," said Kent Mayor Suzette Cooke. "This announcement signifies we have the infrastructure, the workforce and the business-friendly climate needed to support a company like Amazon. This bodes well for Kent's future in attracting high-tech industries."

IDS Real Estate Group and Clarion Partners are building the site as part of a joint venture. The building is set to be built at South 212th Street and 59th Place South on property formerly a part of Boeing's Kent Space Center.

Construction is expected to begin soon, Amazon officials said.

To learn more about working at an Amazon fulfillment center, visit www.amazonfulfillmentcareers.com.

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