Amazon distribution center coming to Garner
When Garner town officials announced earlier this month that Amazon would create 1,500 new jobs at a distribution center in their town, they didn’t reveal what the online retailing giant would pay.
Joe Stallings, economic development director for the town, said at the announcement that the jobs would be “market-based” and a mix of blue-collar and salaried positions.
Now we know that the vast majority of the jobs at Amazon’s planned Garner distribution center will pay less than $30,000 per year.
The breakdown of salaries at the future Amazon distribution center comes from a January presentation given to the Wake County Board of Commissioners that was obtained by The News & Observer through a public records request. Stallings said the amounts were consistent with what he has seen.
The estimates include what the salaries of employees at the center would be with or without benefits included.
▪ 1,381 employees will make $12.50 per hour, which works out to $14.90 per hour when benefits are included
▪ 41 employees will make $14 per hour, or $16.40 per hour with benefits
▪ 44 employees will make $20 per hour, or $22.40 per hour with benefits
▪ 14 employees will make $30 per hour, or $32.40 per hour with benefits
▪ 13 employees will make $55 per hour, or $57.40 per hour with benefits
▪ Four employees will make $75 per hour, or $77.40 per hour with benefits
▪ One employee will make $100 per hour, or $102.40 per hour with benefits
“While the wages are below the county average wage, the town feels that this project is critical to kick-starting the industrial development they are hoping to secure on and around this property,” according to the presentation, which was given by Michael Haley, executive director of Wake County Economic Development.
The average annual wage in Wake County at the end of 2017 was around $58,000, according to estimates from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The presentation — which doesn’t list the specific roles of each pay range — says all employees at the distribution center will be eligible for full benefits on their first day of employment, which will include full healthcare coverage, dental, vision, life insurance, 401K and paid vacation and sick leave.
Employees will also be eligible for stock options and a quarterly bonus. The jobs will add approximately $45 million annually in new payroll in Garner, the town estimates.
After one year of employment, the presentation notes, employees can enroll in Amazon’s Career Choice Program, which consists of one to two classrooms within the distribution center. Employees in the program can use these classrooms to get training in skills like “welding, nursing, software development, etc.”
The point of the program is to give “employees an opportunity to train on-site at little to no cost so the employee can pursue a higher paying career outside of Amazon or with Amazon,” the presentation says.
The presentation also says that Amazon hopes to have the distribution center operational next year. When completed the center will be a four-story, 2.6-million-square-foot building about 12 miles southeast of downtown Raleigh.
The project will be going in at 4851 Jones Sausage Road, the site of a former ConAgra plant that exploded in 2009. Work has already started on the site and is expected to be completed in the fall of 2019.
To help land the distribution center, the town of Garner promised to contribute $600,000 and the North Carolina Department of Transportation $4.5 million to make significant improvements to Jones Sausage Road to accommodate the added traffic, the town said at the announcement.
Additionally Wake County approved up to a $300,000 reimbursement for water and sewer infrastructure, said Chris Dillon, assistant county manager for Wake County.
Amazon is also currently planning to build a distribution center near the Charlotte Douglas International Airport. That facility, scheduled to be completed in late 2019, will also employ 1,500 people, the Charlotte Observer reported. The city of Charlotte has agreed to give Amazon $13.7 million in incentives, according to The Observer.