Retail giant could become one of Montgomery County’s largest employers

Amazon projected to have around 1,800 workers when its new facilities are up and running.

Amazon, one of the world’s largest retailers, could become one of Montgomery County’s largest private employers when it opens two new facilities, possibly next year.

Amazon’s local investment could increase its payroll in the county more than sixfold, and the company has said its investments also indirectly lead to the creation of many new jobs.

“We’re excited about the investment Amazon is making in Montgomery County, and the effects it will have outside of direct job creation,” said Erik Collins, director of Montgomery County Community and Economic Development. “Every company that invests creates an economic ripple effect in supporting our economy.”

Amazon plans to occupy two new facilities that are being constructed in northern Montgomery County, near the Dayton International Airport.

A roughly 141,000-square-foot warehouse facility at 3134 Lightner Road in Dayton will be a “last mile” delivery station.

Construction of the new facility was expected to cost more than $21 million, according to information submitted as part of Dayton’s building permit application process.

A 630,000-square-foot new fulfillment center is being constructed for Amazon at 1835 Union Airpark Boulevard in Union, across from the Procter and Gamble distribution center.

Amazon employees in fulfillment centers pick, pack and ship customer orders, often working alongside of advanced technology, said Andre Woodson, an Amazon spokesperson.

Packages are transported to delivery stations to be loaded into vehicles and delivered to customers.

Amazon has 13 delivery stations and 10 fulfillment and sorting centers in Ohio.

The new fulfillment center will employ more than 1,500 full-time employees, while the delivery station should employ more than 100, Woodson said.

“We look forward to launching our new facility in Dayton, providing many great jobs to the area, with a starting wage of at least $15/hour or more and comprehensive benefits from day one,” Woodson said.

Amazon originally said it planned to launch the new fulfillment center this year.

But the company has not announced an opening date for either facility, and the projects may not be completed next year.

Amazon generally starts hiring at its sites a few months before they open.

Amazon has created more than 45,000 jobs across Ohio, and the company has invested more than $12 billion into the state since 2010, which counts infrastructure projects and employee compensation.

The retail giant also says it has helped create more than 55,000 indirect jobs in the Buckeye State.

Amazon has a delivery facility in Kettering that a company representative in May said on average employs 200 to 300 workers, plus some third-party staff, said Amy Schrimpf, Kettering’s economic development manager.

Amazon in May said employees start at about $17.50 per hour, she said.

Kettering City Manager Mark Schwieterman said the city is fortunate to have the company as part of the community.

“The organization provides valuable services that affect the region,” he said.

But Amazon could employ more than 1,800 people in Montgomery County when its two new facilities open, economic development officials said.

With a payroll of that size, the retailer would be one of the largest private employers in the county, possibly only behind CareSource and LexisNexis, according to data provided by Montgomery County Community and Economic Development.

The company’s projected employment when all three facilities are up and running could be higher than Fuyao Glass America’s and ABF Freight’s, the data indicate.

Projects as large as Amazon’s are rare locally.

Procter and Gamble opened a $90 million, 1.8 million-square-foot distribution center in 2015 just across the street from the new Amazon fulfillment center.

Fuyao Glass opened its 1.2 million-square-foot facility in a former GM plant in 2016. Chewy opened a roughly 690,500-square-feet facility near the airport in 2019, which the company recently said employed about 1,300 people.

Other sizable commercial and industrial projects have opened around the Dayton airport in the last handful of years.

Amazon’s decision to invest in Montgomery County and create good job opportunities was entirely market-driven, said Collins, with Montgomery County Community and Economic Development.

“The greater Dayton region is in a prime location, within a one-day drive of 60% of the U.S. and Canadian manufacturing and populations,” Collins said. “We offer speed-to-market, risk mitigation and affordability to companies, and Amazon saw this as a great opportunity to expand their operations.”

Amazon’s investment is the latest example of the ongoing work to diversify the local economy and make the county a hotspot of manufacturing, logistics and distribution, healthcare aerospace and other industries, Collins said.

“Diversity in an economy helps to protect the community from market volatility that arises when we rely too heavily on any one industry and that industry then faces challenges,” he said.

Amazon is making this investment in Montgomery County because it makes good business sense, said Julie Sullivan, executive vice president of regional development with the Dayton Development Coalition.

“Our location at the intersection of I-70 and I-75 make these jobs a natural fit for our region,” she said. “We have strong workforce development in this area and generations of expertise.”

Workforce usually is a top concern of companies that the coalition assists when they are expanding or looking for new locations, she said.

The region can’t win projects if companies don’t believe they can find the workers they need to fill their job openings, she said.

“Montgomery County and Ohio have an excellent reputation for talent attraction and workforce development,” she said. “We’ve been able to show we can help them find candidates with the right skills for their jobs.”

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