Amazon sells more than 12 million products and shipped more than four billion products worldwide last year. Photo courtesy of Kiesa Kay
Santa’s holiday gifts may get made at the North Pole, but a good plenty of them get stacked and distributed at the Amazon Fulfillment Center MKC4 in Edgerton.
“Our media tours will commence again in January 2020,” said Jen Crowcroft, operations regional manager.
“Work Hard. Have Fun. Make History,” a sign at the employee entrance admonishes. The building stretches more than 820,000 square feet, and it is stacked floor to ceiling with goods. The center houses large items, like kayaks and big screen tvs,
In a fulfillment center, inventory arrives from manufacturers and gets sent directly to customers, so goods come from many parts of the world. The center utilizes robotics and artificial intelligence to maximize efficiency. Employees must abide by stringent safety rules, so they aren’t allowed pocket change, chewing gum, cell phones, belts, lighters, wallets, or keys on the floor. These rules aim to eliminate distractions and anything that could get stuck or cause injury in the workplace.
Amazon has more than 300,000 employees across the globe, and estimates that the Edgerton fulfillment center will generate 1,000 jobs. At this time, more than 500 employees grace the center in Edgerton, Crowcroft said. Amazon offers a $15 an hour wage, with health care and paid parental leave. Amazon also offers a Career Choice program, which pays 95 percent of tuition and books for participants who attend college in high demand fields after a year of employment with Amazon. Integrity Staffing completed the staffing for Amazon Fulfillment Center for the holiday season at Edgerton on Dec.19, but they anticipate returning after the beginning of 2020.
The property used to be a farmstead, paying about $400 in taxes annually, Donald Roberts , Edgerton mayor, shared in March 2016, as the plans received approval. Amazon received a tax abatement for the first ten years of operation, but even with that abatement, the property generates about $200,000 a year.
Amazon sponsors a number of philanthropies, including the Amazon Literary Partnership 2020 grant. Applications are being accepted now through Jan. 15, 2020. This grant finances nonprofit organizations both large and small. The grants go to nonprofit organizations that empower writers. In the past, they have funded writing centers, fellowships, after-school classes, literary magazines, and more, to the tune of $12 million total. For more information, the website is www.amazonliterarypartnership.com.