RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Online retailer Amazon plans to invest $135 million in two distribution centers in Virginia that will employ 1,350 people.
Gov. Bob McDonnell and Seattle-based Amazon.com Inc. announced the projects Thursday. Officials say it's the state's largest job announcement since 2004.
The new fulfillment centers in Chesterfield and Dinwiddie counties are expected to be complete next fall.
In October, Amazon said it was building 17 new fulfillment centers to support its growth, adding to the 52 it had at the end of last year. This ensures that it can keep up as it sells more of everything from stuffed animals to power tools.
McDonnell approved $3.5 million in grants from the Governor's Opportunity Fund for the projects. Another $850,000 is being provided by the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
Release from the office of Governor Bob McDonnell:
RICHMOND – Governor Bob McDonnell and Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) today announced the company's plans to open two fulfillment centers in Virginia, investing a total of $135 million. The company will invest $85 million and create more than 1,000 jobs in Chesterfield County, and invest $50 million in Dinwiddie County, creating more than 350 jobs.
Speaking about today's announcement, Governor McDonnell said, "This project that includes a $135 million investment and more than 1,350 new jobs is a tremendous win for the greater Richmond region. Amazon is known all over the world, and the new centers in Chesterfield and Dinwiddie counties will fulfill orders across the United States. The establishment of these new operations is testament to the positive business climate and success the company has experienced in the Commonwealth."
"Chesterfield and Dinwiddie counties were chosen for this significant project due to the ease and speed with which the facilities can be built and become operational," said Jim Cheng, Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade. "In addition, the skill and availability of the region's workforce were key factors. We are thrilled that Amazon recognized the assets and solid infrastructure in place in the greater Richmond region and will make a great investment to establish its new fulfillment centers in Virginia."
"We look forward to opening two new Amazon facilities in the Richmond area next year, bringing tens of millions of dollars and hundreds of new jobs to the state," said Dave Clark, vice-president, Amazon North American Operations. "We're grateful to Governor McDonnell and other state, county and local officials for their commitment to our investment in Virginia."
As a new member of the Chesterfield and Dinwiddie County communities, Amazon also announced that it is donating $10,000 to the Federation of Virginia Food Banks, which will be allocated to food banks in these counties.
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Chesterfield County, Dinwiddie County, the Greater Richmond Partnership, and Virginia's Gateway Region to secure the project for Virginia. Governor McDonnell approved a total of $3.5 million in grants from the Governor's Opportunity Fund to assist both Chesterfield County and Dinwiddie County with the project. The Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission approved $850,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds for the Dinwiddie County project. The company is eligible to receive benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. Through its Virginia Jobs Investment Program, the Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide funding and services to support the company's recruitment and training activities.
"We are so pleased that international Internet giant Amazon has selected Chesterfield County for their new one million-square-foot fulfillment center," said Art Warren, the Chairman of the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors. "It is exciting this outstanding announcement coincides with the opening of the new Meadowville interchange which will benefit everyone, present and future. And, the infrastructure surrounding this announcement further positions the Meadowville technology Park as a key destination for business. Welcome Amazon as the newest member of our corporate family."
"Dinwiddie County is extremely pleased with Amazon's decision to locate a fulfillment center in the Dinwiddie Commerce Park," said Doretha E. Moody, Chairman of the Dinwiddie County Board of Supervisors. "This is an excellent example of the commitment of the Board of Supervisors to economic development and creating employment opportunities for our community."
"The Tobacco Commission is glad that we were able to team up with Dinwiddie and the Governor's Office to attract Amazon to Virginia," said Senator Frank M. Ruff, Jr., a Commissioner of The Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission. "We believe that they will be a good employer and a good corporate citizen that will provide good jobs for the region. We believe that Amazon will be pleased with our workforce and the region."
The new facilities are expected to be complete next fall. Amazon's fulfillment centers in Virginia will be operated by Amazon.com.kydc LLC.
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