By DAVID EGGERT, Associated Press
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Online retailer Amazon plans to further extend its U.S. hiring binge into Michigan by spending up to $140 million and adding 1,600 full-time jobs at a new facility outside Detroit after being awarded a $5 million state incentive on Tuesday.
It was the second time in six months that the Michigan Strategic Fund authorized a grant for the e-commerce powerhouse to open a fulfillment center — a giant warehouse where items are stored, packaged and shipped.
The facility will be located in Romulus, home to metro Detroit's airport. The other center, where construction is ongoing and at least 1,000 people must work for Amazon to collect an entire $7.5 million incentive, will be based about 12 miles away in the suburb of Livonia.
Amazon currently has 277 employees in the state, according to a memo prepared by the Michigan Economic Development Corp., which said the company also considered other Midwestern states and Canada for the latest fulfillment center. Amazon spokeswoman Shevaun Brown declined to say when the two Michigan facilities will open or to divulge what the new workers will be paid.
“Amazon is constantly investigating new locations to support the growth and increase the flexibility of its North American network to address customers' needs,” she said. “Amazon is not yet commenting on any specific plans in Michigan.”
The state memo said benefits will be offered to all the new employees.
In January, the Seattle-based company announced plans to hire 100,000 full-time workers over the next 18 months, bringing its U.S. workforce to more than 280,000. Amazon has more than 75 fulfillment centers in North America and at least 149 worldwide, Brown said.
The $5 million grant will help Amazon partially offset some “substantial” road and other needed infrastructure projects needed in Romulus, the memo said.
Sen. Hoon-Yung Hopgood, a Taylor Democrat whose district includes the site of the newly announced facility, said the state's “small investment now will lead to greater investments in the future, which helps our state prosper in the long run.”
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