Amazon Opening New Illinois Fulfillment Center

Date: August 12, 2015

Joliet Facility To Bring 1,000 Jobs To Chicagoland Area

In the latest signal of Amazon’s expansion across the US, on Monday the online retail giant announced plans to open a nearly 500,000-square-foot fulfillment center in Joliet, IL that will add 1,000 full-time jobs. The AP reported the facility will process items like electronics and books. In a joint news release with Amazon Joliet Mayor Bob O’Dekirk said the city is excited about “quality jobs for a diverse community.” Amazon will be hiring workers for the warehouse that have at least a high school diploma or equivalent and can lift 49 pounds. Amazon began looking for warehouse space after it said last fall that it planned to invest $75 million in Illinois, Internet Retailer noted. Fortune reported that Amazon chose “the location because of its transportation links” as well as its proximity to Chicago, where it already offers same-day delivery.

According to Bidness Etc. , the jobs will offer competitive pay, full benefits, and Amazon’s Career Choice program, which writer Martin Blanc said “indicates Amazon’s determination to provide its employees with full-scale knowledge regarding their area of expertise.” While the program lets employees study courses that are not necessarily related to Amazon’s business, it may help Amazon “to secure a dedicated employee base thanks to its involvement in helping fund workers learn varied courses and by offering financial security,” Blanc added.

What This Means For Small Businesses

Though Illinois’ ability to attract a major economic investment is a positive indication of the state’s overall attitude towards the business community, Amazon’s rapid growth in the Chicago area presents challenges as well as opportunities for small businesses. Some small businesses that provide goods and services may benefit from the additional jobs, while others could see Amazon’s growth directly challenging their ability to be competitive, particularly their ability to hire the best workers while providing wages and benefits that are competitive with Amazon’s.

Additional Reading

Chain Store Age, the Puget Sound (WA) Business Journal, Joliet (IL) Patch, WebProNews, Homeworld Business, and Downers Grove (IL) Suburban Life also reported on the story.

Note: this article is intended to keep small business owners up on the latest news. It does not necessarily represent the policy stances of NFIB.

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