Amazon fulfillment center to create jobs
by Joel Danoy
Jan 25, 2013 | 33836 views | 29 29 comments | 45 45 recommendations | email to a friend | print
This sign sits at the entrance of the construction site for the 1-million-square-foot Amazon.com fulfillment center. Construction crews on Wednesday, Jan. 23, were leveling the ground in preparation to begin pouring the foundation as early as Feb. 4.   Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
This sign sits at the entrance of the construction site for the 1-million-square-foot Amazon.com fulfillment center. Construction crews on Wednesday, Jan. 23, were leveling the ground in preparation to begin pouring the foundation as early as Feb. 4. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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Construction crews level the ground on Wednesday, Jan. 22, in preparation to pour the foundation for a 1-million-square-foot Amazon.com fulfillment center. Pouring could begin as early as Feb. 4. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
Construction crews level the ground on Wednesday, Jan. 22, in preparation to pour the foundation for a 1-million-square-foot Amazon.com fulfillment center. Pouring could begin as early as Feb. 4. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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Officials from Amazon.com Inc. and the city of Tracy announced Tuesday, Jan. 22, that the company will occupy a 1 million-square-foot fulfillment center that is expected to bring an estimated 1,000 jobs to Tracy by this fall.

The facility — Amazon’s third in the state since October — will “create hundreds of full-time jobs with benefits,” according to a press release issued Tuesday by Amazon.

A fulfillment center is used by Amazon.com to package and distribute the products it sells online.

Employees at the Tracy center are expected to “engage with high-end technology while fulfilling customer orders,” the release states.

Amazon stated that the center’s jobs “pay on average 30 percent more than traditional retail jobs” and are eligible for full health benefits and stock grants, which according to the company have added an average of 9 percent to an employee’s annual base salary.

The announcement confirms what was first reported by the Tracy Press on Nov. 20, when Mayor Brent Ives said the city was on the verge of finalizing an agreement with Amazon.com to establish a major distribution center within city limits.

The Press was the first to report such news.

“We have worked heaven and earth for this,” Ives said at the time.

City Manager Leon Churchill said on Tuesday that city officials see the deal as an “investment in the economic future” of Tracy. He said city officials made a “conservative estimate” that the center will employ around 1,000 people, but noted that the number will “most likely” fluctuate.

“Online shopping has grown exponentially over the last several years,” he said. “Amazon is going to bring a lot of high-end technology jobs, and I hope this is going to be a breakthrough for our local economy by bringing better jobs for the community.”

During the past couple of years, the Tracy City Council has taken steps to adopt a more “business-friendly process” to attract economic development and investment to the city, according to Churchill.



Business-friendly approach

On Dec. 21, 2011, the council approved several incentive programs — including the Office and Industrial Incentive Program — that could significantly benefit Amazon.com.

According to Churchill, after Amazon.com is open for one year, the company has the option to apply for the program if it meets three requirements:

• Generates annual gross sales of at least $100 million

• Provides a minimum of 1,000 jobs

• Pay the city’s sales tax rate of 1 percent, which under the requirements would be at least $1 million for city coffers

However, if the City Council approves Amazon.com for the program, the city will annually return 50 percent of the company’s city sales tax share on gross sales up to $200 million. The company could be eligible to receive up to 80 percent of its annual city sales tax for any sales exceeding $200 million, Churchill said.

Ives stated in the release that he was “honored Amazon recognized our efforts and made the decision to collaborate with the city of Tracy.”

“The anticipated sales tax generated by Amazon will benefit the community as a whole,” he stated. “This will be the first of many new business announcements as we continue to prepare our community for future job-generating developments.”

The mayor has previously stated that the center will boost city tax revenue and the services for which its pays, including police and fire protection.



Construction under way

ProLogis Inc., headquartered in San Francisco, also announced Tuesday that the company has a contract with Amazon.com to build the center on the nearly 90-acre site of ProLogis Park Tracy Phase II.

The site is between the Crate & Barrel warehouses, 1605 N. Chrisman Road, and the Union Pacific Railroad which runs parallel to Brichetto Road.

Construction crews were leveling the ground on Wednesday, Jan. 23, in preparation for pouring the foundation, which could begin by Feb. 4, according to site superintendent Ray Koester.

Once the foundation is poured, he said crews “will be working night and day” to finish the project.

This is the third such fulfillment center Amazon.com is building in California. In October, the company opened a 950,000-square-foot fulfillment center in San Bernardino and announced it would open a similar facility in Patterson, just south of Tracy.



Ready to apply

According to Churchill, Tracy residents interested in working for Amazon.com should fill out an online application at the company’s website.

Applications can be found at the bottom of the website under the heading “Careers.” However, on Thursday, Jan. 24, there was no listing for the Tracy location.

Calls to the Amazon.com public relations department on Wednesday were not returned by print deadline on Thursday.

• Contact Joel Danoy at 830-4229 or jdanoy@tracypress.com.
Comments
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backinblack
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January 28, 2013
The conversation every parent hopefully has with their child;

Son, life is not a free ride and you need to work for what you earn. Never blame others for your failures or problems and always thank those who may help you along the way. Having a job is a priviledge so always work your backside of regardless of your pay and respect the person writing your check.

Work to become the best at whatever you do and continue to set higher goals depending on where you want to be in life financially, earn it because noboby is going to hand it to you. If you start at the bottom, work hard and earn your way to the top. Don't sit around whining about what you don't have, just bust your butt everyday to get where you want to be, real men don't whine, they just do what needs to get done to acheive a goal.

If you fail, don't cry, get up and try harder. Usually if you work hard, make good decisions, and do what's right you will succeed in life, if you don't end up where you truly want to be, too bad, that's life, enjoy the ride regardless. Son, you are an American, you have a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness but that in no way means guarantee, shun all who believe otherwise
backinblack
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January 28, 2013
CR's version.

Son, life sucks so get what you can while you can and screw everyone else. Expect the maximum while doing the minimum. Working your way up is stupid, if you can't make $30 an hour, sell drugs, it's easy money so why be like the suckers who follow the rules and believe in hard work? What a bunch of idiots.

By the way son, buy a gun.
Ornley_Gumfudgen
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January 28, 2013
Cody1

True, but people generally don't commute far for minimum wage jobs right?

Personally, while thair are no doubt minimum wage jobs ta be had there, I doubt if most people workin thair will be workin for minimum wages there. And of the ones that do I doubt they will commute far as gasoline prices make that rather cost prohibitive.

What good does it do ya when half of yer income fer a minimum wage job is eaten up by fuel an other commuter related costs?

As ta what is considered ta be high income jobs I ran across an article whair some studies yielded some interestin thangs.

Across th nation it seems th average college graduate is makin about $29.71 per hr on a 40 hour work week. A high school grad is makin about $16.25. Suddenly Chris's $15.00 per hr fer warehouse jobs don't seem that out of line.

Also, while yer correct sales tax is done by district even if it don't come directly ta Tracy in th form of sales tax it does effect, ta some degree, th amount that Tracy receives if not fer th fact it is paid ta th state makin it easier fer th state ta return more sales tax monies collected in Tracy an that too is a good thang.
Ornley_Gumfudgen
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January 28, 2013
BIB

Liked yer conversation bit. Never could quite get hold of th notion that ya had ta take a job an wages that ya didn't like. I mean it's a free nation an even though findin an holdin on ta a job can be rough at time in reality no one is forcin ya ta do it.

What ya did touch on is akin ta a little sacrifice in order ta make greater accomplishment. Some call it puttin in yer time or even takin yer lumps. What ever ya call it it means that ya take that lower payin an less desirable job ta make it possible fer ya ta gain more knowledge or skill an then use that ta get a better payin more desirable job.

What? People thank that just cus they graduated high school they can automatically start out at th top of the wage/pay scale ladder? It don't work that way. But it seems thair are a whole bunch of people that apparently believe that way.

Started out buckin hay. Didn't like it much but it was honest work an allowed me ta larn somethang else in order ta get a better payin job. An so it went, year after year, gettin better an better payin jobs that were much more desireable than buckin hay, not that some people might be perfectly happy doin that all day. But they don't as a rule complain about th low pay.

Eventually worked fer pay in th low six figures, did that long enough ta pay off my debts an went inta full retirement, meanin I don't have ta work if I don't wanna.

Yep, I still work taday an what I get paid fer that work ain't important. All of my needs are met. Some jobs I do are expensive, as I have th skills an can demand that money. Some are expensive yet I do it fer free simply cus I want ta an because I can.

Yep, I coulda easily stayed makin that six figure income but why? What I do now is much more rewardin than slavin away all day at a high payin job just ta get th income it brings.

Oh but thank of th vacations I could go on. My vacation literally lasts 365 days a year. I work when I wanna work an play when I wanna play. In a lot of respects I count myself as actually wealthier than th people who make half a million an more a year.

They can work thair lives off for monitary gain but I worked ta get th point whair I am self sustained an now work off my life at a much younger age at actually livin my life.

But it did require a lot of hard work an study when I was young. Few people seem ta realize when yer young that is th time ta work hard an study so they end up fritterin thair lives away workin at low payin jobs till thair old an end up without much money ta live on simply because instead of usin each day ta make themselves better they played it all away.

They utterly fail ta understand that in order ta pursue happenes ya actually have ta pursue it an that happiness automatically ain't guaranteed ta ya even though ya gotta right ta pursue it.
Ornley_Gumfudgen
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January 28, 2013
sneaky

Out of a population base somewhare between 80 an 84 thousand, how many engineers da ya thank would be able ta fill th need of a high tech company supportin them salaries?

Let me see now, ya don't want ta see Tracy grow, population an housin wise so you tell me, how ya gonna pull it off?

1,000 jobs at 15 per hour or ten jobs at 50 per hour. Hum, fer th community I'll take th 1,000.

As fer sales tax, th people spendin thair income in Tracy, alone would be a benefit. But Amazon does charge sales tax an given CA's stance on collectin taxes many transactions would be taxed.

All fer a high tech industry in town but when ya critically look at th other towns similar ta Tracy ya don't see much of that type of activity. An when ya look at the Cities that do have those types of industry, at present, they don't look all that good an thair's a lot of empty buildins thair. Silicon Valley is a perfect example an is comprised of several Cities neighborin each other an yet thair high tech industries, on th large part, aren't doin all that well with a total population base over a million.
cody01
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January 28, 2013
All goes by district. CA would get tax on the sales. It's what district. Folks will commute here for those jobs. Not all employees would do business in Tracy.

The jobs are a good thing. The misrepresentation of ALL those sales tax is what disturbs me.
ChrisRoberts
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January 26, 2013
Hhahaha the only people who jump at 10- 15 dollar an hour jobs are people from the third world, or people who have no education- and thus nothing but their brute stregnth to offer. Why do you think kids jump through hoolihoops to get out of Tracy after high school?

I would rather sit online and watch the market. Pain in the behind, but thrilling, and way better than a warehouse job. I worked at UPS for 3 years to pay my tuition at UCSC, warehouse jobs suck-regardless of benefits.

Why do you think Tracy kids sell weed and pills at the skate park and the school yards? It pays way more than 15 bucks an hour.

I asked oen high schooler at the skatepark, why he sells drugs for a living. He said he gets about 300 bucks a day, tax free. He makes more on a good week than a warehouse job will pay in a month!
ABrisket
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January 26, 2013
Tell us when he is making ten cents an hour cleaning the freeways with an orange jumpsuit.
IMHO
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January 26, 2013
Or people that can't find work anywhere else right now which oddly enough, seems to be happening a lot right now for some reason. Then there are the kids trying to earn money and go to college and work their way up in the world. Heck, I made $6.40 an hour cleaning toilets in college, you going to make fun of me for that? Regardless of what you may think, there are lots of people that would love this kind of job and are thankful for it. $15 an hour isn't that bad either for some people, especially those that didn't go to college. Last I checked with all the check cashing places and cheap liquor stores in Tracy, looks like this town is chalk full of people that would love $15 an hour jobs. Saying kids make more selling drugs is just outright irrelevant. A mob boss makes more too, does that mean kids are more likely to start breaking others kneecaps? Not really a strong argument. I don't know why everyone on here is so down on the $15 an hour jobs. It's all a positive sign for Tracy. You'd think more people would be happy about it. At a minimum, it's more money for the city which equals more cops and hopefully less crime, etc. Sheesh.
cody01
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January 26, 2013
It's a distribution center. They don't actually sell the stuff there. Sooooo, what's with the sales tax? 1.000 jobs, cool. But, that sales tax bugs me. These items are just passing through. Not being sold there. Just a point of interest.
monsterdad3k
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January 26, 2013
Here is how it works:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=468512
IMHO
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January 26, 2013
You're right, mayor Ives has tricked us all and lied about sales taxes. Once again you've put your keen mind to the task and come out way off base. So far you're 0 for 2. Ah monsterdad3k, don't lead him to the truth, let him go ahead and make up stuff in his head and try and sell it to everyone. It's more fun.
MrSycamore
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January 25, 2013
Wow, a lot of pessimistic people! Our council did a great job bringing businesses to the City of Tracy and should be applauded for their efforts! Without businesses you have no revenue and no desire for people to live here! Personally, I don't care if people travel into our City and work here. They're going to spend there money here anyway (sales tax). Maybe those people will want to move here and make our housing market competitive and drive up home prices! So, Thank you to our elected officials!
Sneaky
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January 26, 2013
I guess there is a difference of opinion on what makes a good community and/or our current business position. We are hardly lacking business. There are tons of them. Not quite the right mix in my opinion, but that a minor issue.

People are certainly free to travel to our city but myself I would prefer more peace and quiet and less pollution than a small bump in tax revenue.

Ditto for the housing market. My house is a structure to live in. Not an investment. I plan to die in it. If I have a choice between it going up in value while its surroundings are degraded by overcrowding or having its value not change much while the surroundings continue to be wide open space I would definitely take the latter.
victor_jm
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January 27, 2013
The other day, on the radio, an author was interviewed about his new book (I don’t recall the title), but his thesis was this about all people: we are in the business of selling ourselves. Now, I listened to this person—who seemed to be selling himself—and thought about our often biased tendency to take a word, as it is understood within a particular human discipline (of the mind), and redefine it to suit our purpose or perspective (to our advantage), as determined by our worldview.

I say this, because like Sneaky, my house isn’t an investment, it isn’t an object for profit. For me, ownership of a house is an intimate external extension of who I am as a person, and because of this, my house is clean and structured (inside and outside). Also, my wish is to live in it until I am dead, but I realize my tranquility is daily threatened by the absentee landowners who have no expectations of their tenants other than receipt of the monthly rent, and money is money, whether it comes from a mind that seeks truth or one that wallows in squalor.

In my imagined world, of free enterprise, a house isn’t an investment for profit.

I don’t think inside triangles; I don’t think outside boxes.
monsterdad3k
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January 25, 2013
"We have worked heaven and earth for this,” Ives said at the time."

What exactly does this mean? Never heard anyone say that before. Couldn't find a definition online.

And Leon, these are not high end technology jobs rather low to mid level warehouse jobs.
Sneaky
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January 25, 2013
"And Leon, these are not high end technology jobs rather low to mid level warehouse jobs"

Ditto

A little translation helps:

“engage with high-end technology while fulfilling customer orders,” = typing text into an electronic form.
Ornley_Gumfudgen
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January 27, 2013
MK2D3k

Actually, in as much as th computers an other technologies this distribution warehouse will use don't run an fix themselves, thair will be some high end technology jobs available thair not ta mention some of th administrative positions th warehouse will create. Admittedly thair won't be many but even if it's only one, it's a damn site better than none.

What, ya thank yer gonna get somethang like an aerospace company ta set up shop in Tracy? Possible someday but not likely soon in th future.

I'd also like ta hear yer notion of what a high end technology job actually pays thair employees an more specifically a sample of what those jobs are.
Sneaky
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January 27, 2013
"I'd also like ta hear yer notion of what a high end technology job actually pays thair employees an more specifically a sample of what those jobs are."

I guess my notion of what those types of jobs are are things like one of them you mentioned, aerospace. Others would be defense, pharma or medical device R&D, biotech, etc..

As far as salaries, I would think something like these, which pretty well bracket where I am as an upper-mid level engineer working in the bay area.

http://www1.salary.com/Engineer-IV-Salary.html

http://www1.salary.com/Materials-Engineer-V-Salary.html

http://www1.salary.com/Biostatistician-IV-Salary.html

http://www1.salary.com/Design-Director-Salary.html

http://www1.salary.com/Research-and-Development-Director-Salary.html

Sneaky
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January 25, 2013
While I will try not to "whine" like Chris I too am skeptical of the 1000 job claim and question the need for more warehouse jobs. I suspect every single young person just starting out has more than enough of those to chose from. We are awash in warehouses and retail. What we lack are employeers offering professional careers.

As for the 1000 jobs they are probably using that funny math that corporations like to use when they are trying to sell a municipality on letting them set up shop. They probably count every temporary construction job, the folks that will sell the construction company the wood and other materials, the city jobs that in theory could be created through the tax revenues, etc..

Those complaints aside I do like where they put the thing. They thankfully put it in an already industrialized area. For some reason I thought they would destroy some nice open feild beween the edge of town and the western hills.

lovin'life
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January 25, 2013


Even if they do hire 1000 people, unfortunately it will probably be 25 locals and 975 people from everywhere else. Take a look at city employees. It's like they are afraid to hire within their own community. How do you bring someone from the bay area and expect them to think like us. We know our community better than anyone else... I would hope. We know what our kids want for fun, We know what the city needs to do to keep the community engaged and enjoying living here. But apparently people think the grass is always greener and they bring people from everywhere else but here. So good luck to all who get hired, its a tough economy out there. I just hope that I can proudly say that I know a dozen or two people personally that work out there.

doors17
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January 25, 2013
I know of several people and I’m sure many of you do also that not long ago would have held their noses at the thought of taking a job that started them out at $15 per hour, but today would love the opportunity. When you’re suddenly making nothing an hour it can change your attitude quickly.

I think it’s great to have them here locally. If the starting wage is $15 an hour at least they’ll be saving on gas and other transportation cost that I have to spend going over the hill each day and deal the daily traffic mess.

They probably will over hire at the start, but that will be necessary to see what percentage stays and can do the job until they can balance out.

crap1210
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January 25, 2013
I for one never like to aggree with Chris Roberts, but in this case I do.In regards to his statement on the jobs created. 1,000 is a very high number,my guess closer to 100 maybe. This will be a state of the are business. I'm willing to bet that most of it will be run by a robotic system that is run by a person on a key board. I am glad to see that the City Manager is doing his job with bringing new business to Tracy.
ChrisRoberts
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January 25, 2013
Oh wow, big deal, more 15$ an hour warehouse jobs in Tracy.

1000 jobs, hahaha you wish, Tracy.

It will be like Winco. They will hire a bunch of people, then fire 1/3 of the employees a month or two later.

And can someone explain why we are even bothering to charge Amazon a sales tax? Considering they can recover 50-80% of their sales tax.

That's right Tracy, while you have to pay your due sales tax, Amazon gets a refund. Mayor Ives does not treat the businesses in Tracy equally.

I wonder if Amazon will fund Ives and company's next campaign????????
beepbeepcomingthrough
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January 25, 2013
Hey Chris...why do you have a problem with warehouse jobs in Tracy? And why do you even have a problem with jobs at all coming to tracy? You sound bitter and angry for some reason. This is a good thing and these jobs are perfect for 18 year old kids right out of highschool and going to a junior college near by or even a 22 year old trying to get onto his/her feet. Jobs keep people off the street and put money in their pockets to spend in the community. Maybe the 18 year old on the south side of town will now have a better chance at surviving in our community with jobs like these instead of strolling the streets when the sun goes down!?! Warehouse jobs also help out the trucking industry. In other words...you are dumb chris.
beepbeepcomingthrough
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January 25, 2013
less people off unemployment in our area as well. Maybe you are bitter because 15/hr is 15/hr more than you are making?
oldleathers
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January 25, 2013
Tell us chris, what would you consider a decent starting wage. that's why you don't have a job. you're too good to start at the bottom. any honest work is honorable work. but you wouldn't understand that.
Seek_the_Truth
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January 26, 2013
Chris Wrote: "....does not treat the businesses in Tracy equally."

Businesses should NOT be treated "equally" they should be treated Fairly! Even the smallest business (revenue) in town should be treated Fairly, but I hope the businesses that provide greater benefit to the city are encouraged to operate and grow in Tracy. This may include providing "unequal" tax benefits to larger contributors.


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