Amazon to add another fulfillment center in Tennessee, add 1,000 jobs

Workers unpack items shipped from affiliates to the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Enterprise South Industrial Park on Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017, in Chattanooga, Tenn. Amazon held nationwide job fairs Wednesday to fill 50,000 positions as the company sees a surge in growth.

The world's biggest company by market value is also quickly becoming one of Tennessee's biggest private employers.

Amazon, which built its first fulfillment centers in Tennessee nine years ago in Chattanooga and Charleston and has since added other distribution warehouses in Murfreesboro, Lebanon and Memphis, broke ground Monday on another fulfillment center that will add 1,000 jobs in Memphis. The $200 million distribution center will employ 1,000 workers and should be up and running in time for this year's holiday season.

With the skeleton of the massive building in the background, Amazon officials and state and local politicians gathered at the construction site Monday to talk about the project.

"Tennessee is a great state for business and Amazon is proud to continue our growth and investment with our newest fulfillment center in Shelby County," Amazon Director of Regional Operations Rob Packett said. "We look forward to creating great jobs, with industry leading pay and benefits that start on day one, in a safe, innovative workplace for residents across the region."

Officials say workers will make at least $15 per hour . Employees at the 855,000-square-foot facility being built in Shelby County will work alongside Amazon's innovative robotics technology to pick, pack and ship smaller customer items, such as books, electronics and consumer goods.

In addition to its fulfillment centers, Amazon operates a Prime Now Hub in Nashville and various other facilities supporting last mile delivery operations across Tennessee. The company is in the midst of building a $230 million Operations Center of Excellence in downtown Nashville, which will house the tech and management functions for Amazon's Retail Operations division and eventually add 5,000 jobs in the single largest job commitment made by a company in Tennessee history.

Since 2010, Amazon has invested more than $6.5 billion into its local fulfillment center infrastructure across Tennessee, including its $139 million of warehouse facilities in Chattanooga and Charleston that employ several thousand workers, depending upon the season.

Amazon's investments in Tennessee contributed an additional $4.5 billion into the state's economy, and using methodology developed by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Amazon estimates its investments in the state have created an additional 6,000 indirect jobs on top of the company's 6,500 direct hires.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said Amazon's investments in the state are " a testament to Tennessee's position as a leader in the logistics industry."

Tennessee is home to FedEx, one of the world's biggest delivery services headquartered in Memphis, and major trucking firms, including U.S. Xpress Enterprises and Covenant Transport in Chattanooga.