Eric Collins, economic development director for Montgomery County, said the center’s genesis began with a broker approaching local government officials, saying the plan from the start was “market-driven.”
“It aligned with their (Amazon’s) strategic plan, and they came to the community through the market,” he said.
“Amazon’s products and services have played an essential role in moving the U.S. economy forward the last 12 months, and more than 40,000 Ohioans have been critical in that effort,” Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said in a release announcing Amazon’s plans. “This investment in the city of Union will further strengthen U.S. supply lines with an additional 1,500 Ohioans leading the way and operating Amazon’s latest fulfilment technology.”
Amazon employees at the fulfillment center — which will span more than 630,000 square feet — will pick, pack and ship smaller customer items, such as books, electronics and consumer goods, the company said.
Montgomery County government officials said the county has committed $700,000 to the improvements currently under construction on U.S. 40 near Dayton International Airport, part of a $12.6 million project to increase access to companies in the area.
“This is proof that our long-term economic development strategy is succeeding at creating a business-friendly region,” Montgomery County Commission President Judy Dodge said.
“Amazon aims to build some of the best places to work in Ohio,” said Alicia Boler Davis, Amazon’s vice president of global customer fulfillment. “In opening a new fulfillment center in Union, we’re continuing a tradition of providing new, full-time jobs in safe, advanced workspaces across this great state. We’re proud to be offering another 1,500 good jobs in Ohio with great pay and comprehensive benefits, and we’re grateful to our partners in the community who are growing with us.”
In addition to a $15 starting wage — which Amazon said all workers will receive, whether they are full-time, part-time, temporary, or seasonal — the company said it offers employees benefits including full health insurance, such as prescription drug, dental, and vision coverage.
“This is exciting and I think wonderful news for the greater Dayton region,” said Jeff Hoagland, president and chief executive for the Dayton Development Coalition and a former city manager for Vandalia. “This is something that the region has been planning for, for over two decades, going back to when the I-70/75 corridor was completely rebuilt.”
He recalled the city of Vandalia buying 200 acres of land near the increasingly busy I-70/75 interchange — land that immediately drew the interest of White Castle, among other employers. Today, White Castle has a manufacturing and processing plant on that land, in the Stonequarry Business Park, a plant White Castle announced last year it will double in size.
“We are thrilled that Amazon will be joining those ranks by locating its new fulfillment center here,” said Union Mayor Michael O’Callaghan. “We welcome Amazon as our new neighbor and look forward to the creation of jobs that Amazon will bring for members of our community and the surrounding areas.”
“Amazon’s latest investment in Ohio demonstrates the company’s continued confidence in the value proposition Ohio has to offer, in particular our outstanding talent pool and the inherent supply-chain advantages of this state,” said JobsOhio President and Chief Executive J.P. Nauseef. “This cutting-edge facility near Dayton will play an essential role in moving products throughout the multi-state region while creating 1,500 new jobs for Ohioans who will have healthcare and additional benefits on day one.”
Montgomery County has proven logistics credentials, said Montgomery County Administrator Michael Colbert.
“Our location at the I-70/75 interchange, with access to the airport, paired with an eager workforce makes this a perfect location for Amazon to grow. Montgomery County residents and our neighbors will benefit from the thousands of jobs Amazon will bring, which means more prosperity for our people,” Colbert said.
Amazon today has fulfillment and sortation centers in Akron, Etna, Euclid, Lockbourne, North Randall, Monroe, Obtez, Rossford, Twinsburg and West Jefferson.