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Construction continues at a 1 million-square-foot fulfillment center in Huntsville-annexed Limestone County

Amazon building 1 million-square-foot, 500-employee center near Madison

Amazon will begin operations at a 1 million-square-foot fulfillment center near Madison in Huntsville-annexed Limestone County this fall, a company official said, hiring 500 employees in an already tight labor market.

The jobs will have “industry-leading pay and comprehensive benefits” starting on the first day of employment, said spokesman Owen Torres. He did not respond to questions about the type of jobs that will be available and pay range.

Posted jobs for Amazon warehouse workers in Huntsville listed hourly wages ranging from $15 to $20 per hour.

“Amazon employees will pick, pack and ship bulky or larger-sized customer items such as patio furniture, outdoor equipment or rugs,” Torres said.

Bethany Shockney, the president and CEO of the Limestone County Economic Development Association, said she’s confident the 500 Amazon jobs can be filled, even with the unemployment rates in Lawrence, Limestone and Morgan counties dropping to the pre-pandemic levels of a year ago.

“We have a lot of job openings (in the area), and people will come here because they can find good-paying wages that will sustain their families,” she said. “We have a robust education system that helps train people for these specific skill sets.

“In a distribution center, skill sets are different than for an assembly-type manufacturing facility like Mazda Toyota.”

Amazon is building its facility on Greenbrier Parkway just north of Interstate 565. Mazda Toyota Manufacturing is building an auto assembly plant nearby with plans to hire up to 4,000 employees and start production later this year.

Target also has a distribution center in the area.

Limestone County’s unemployment in March, the most recent data available, was the third lowest in the state at 2.1%. That compared to 2.3% in February and 2.4% in March 2020.

Amazon also operates an 800,000-square-foot fulfillment center in Bessemer, where workers last month voted against forming a union. Amazon also has two delivery stations in the state.

Limestone County Commission Chairman Collin Daly said in a statement that Amazon’s investment and the jobs that will be created will “greatly impact our county for many years.”

Any time a business launches new operations, “it’s good for our community,” Shockney said. “Because (the facility) is in Limestone County, we will have people driving to their jobs every day, buying gas and food, and homes.”

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