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Amazon.com, Inc. announced plans to open a new customer service facility in Winchester, Kentucky. The company will invest more than $20.7 million in the project and create at least 550 full time and 600 seasonal jobs by 2017.
The Fortune 500 company based in Seattle already has a large presence in Kentucky, with Amazon subsidiaries currently operating fulfillment centers in Louisville, Lexington, Campbellsville and Hebron. The new 70,000-square-foot Winchester facility will help Amazon to provide customer service and technical support. The center is expected to open in late summer and will be based at Winchester Plaza during construction of the permanent facility, which is expected to open in 2013.
“There are thousands of employees working in Amazon’s fulfillment centers across Kentucky, and we’re proud to be expanding our presence in the state with the opening of a customer service center,” said Tom Weiland, vice president, Amazon Customer Service. “We hope to have our team in Winchester up and running before the holiday season, and we’re hiring great people to join us in giving Amazon customers a first-class shopping experience.”
The average wage in Winchester will be about $15.64, or $20 including benefits, said Todd Denham, executive director of the Winchester-Clark County Industrial Authority. Positions being filled include customer service manager, quality improvement manager, workflow manager and human resources manager.
“I am thrilled that Amazon has chosen to open a customer support center in Winchester,” said Sen. R.J. Palmer II, of Winchester. “Amazon’s investment in this new facility will allow our region to reap the rewards of economic growth, development and jobs. It also speaks well of our workforce that Amazon has chosen to locate its operation here. I applaud Gov. Beshear for taking the lead to support our industry.”
The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority approved Amazon for tax incentives of as much as $10.25 million through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments.
“Since first opening the doors of their facilities in Lexington and Campbellsville more than a decade ago, Amazon and the Commonwealth have enjoyed a long and fruitful economic partnership that has created jobs for many Kentuckians,” said Rep. Donna Mayfield, of Winchester.
“Being selected for a project of this magnitude will certainly positively impact our community, now and in the years to come,” said Winchester Mayor Ed Burtner. “The investment and careers that Amazon will create will ripple through our economy, putting people to work and generating income for our region. This is what economic development is all about.”