Amazon is bringing a delivery station to Abilene.
The Development Corporation of Abilene (DCOA) announced Thursday, Sept. 9 that Amazon will lease a warehouse in the DCOA’s Five Points Business Park to house its last mile facility in the West Texas city.
“Amazon may be a large global business, but it’s made up of small businesses and communities. From the local jobs we bring, to the local people we employ, train, and upskill—our business is made up of people from the communities like Abilene,” said Jessica Breaux, manager of economic development at Amazon. “There are now over 70,000 Texans working at Amazon, and we’re excited to be growing our workforce in Abilene.”
The 71,000 square-foot facility in Five Points Business Park is part of Amazon’s last-mile delivery capabilities designed to increase efficiency of deliveries to customers.
“Amazon’s investment will bring many strong benefits to the Abilene community, including converting a warehouse into a competitive logistics and distribution center,” said Misty Mayo, President and Chief Executive Officer of the DCOA. “Abilene’s strategic location in south central United States with access to major highways is a key factor in the location of Amazon’s new facility. This is exactly the type of work the DCOA does, attracting new business to Abilene to ensure the viability of the community for years to come.”
The facility, which is anticipated to launch in 2022, will create dozens of new jobs with a minimum starting wage from $15 an hour and a variety of benefits.
“Abilene is proud to welcome Amazon to our community,” said Mayor Anthony Williams. “This incredible opportunity confirms what we have always known, Abilene is a great place to do business in Texas.”
Abilene is centrally located in the state, directly on Interstate 20 just a two and half hours from the Dallas/Fort Worth metropolitan area. The city has a population of 121,512.
Since 2010, Amazon has created more than 70,000 jobs in Texas and invested more than $29 billion across the state, including infrastructure and compensation to its employees. Amazon’s investments have contributed more than $34 billion in GDP to the Texas economy and have helped create over 136,000 indirect jobs on top of Amazon’s direct hires – from jobs in construction and logistics to professional services, according to the announcement from DCOA. Amazon has several warehouses in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and has an Amazon Air location at Fort Worth’s Alliance Airport.
Amazon announced Thursday that it will pay the full college tuition for hourly workers starting next year, as competition to hire and retain those workers gets fierce.
Other companies, including Walmart and Target, have recently started to pay for college or boost their existing programs. The job market is tight, and employers have been offering all kinds of incentives and perks to snag hourly workers, including raising pay and offering bonuses.
Amazon said more than 750,000 U.S. hourly workers are eligible, including those who pack and ship online orders at its warehouses. The program will launch in January.
The online shopping giant said the program employees are eligible 90 days after they’ve started work. Amazon said it’ll fund tuition, books and fees and hundreds of partnering schools, but didn’t name them.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.