A little more than a year ago the excitement was that Amazon would hire 500 to 600 people for a warehouse in Edwardsville, but as the mail-order company celebrates its first year of operations they are in two warehouses employing more than 2,000 workers.
The company’s fufillment centers in Edwardsville contain 1.5 million square feet of goods ranging from flip flops to Pop Rocks. They celebrated their first anniversary Thursday by offering a tour to show off stacks of merchandise and the people who move it out the door.
“We’ll ship everywhere. That’s to the East Coast, the West Coast, overseas. We ship everywhere,” said Jason Speedy, general manager for Amazon’s two fulfillment centers in Edwardsville.
Shipping and storing all the merchandise has created more than 2,000 jobs and 90 percent of them are full time with health benefits and a 401k plan, said Amazon spokesperson Shevaun Brown.
“Amazon is committed to giving people a living wage,” Brown said.
Amazon has eight Illinois distribution centers which by the end of 2018 expect to have more than 8,000 employees.
“This was a county that was suffering a little bit. We have an idle steel mill. We’ve had some manufacturing that has left, so the jobs being brought to this county have changed the county,” said Edwardsville Mayor Hal Patton.