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Caledon welcomes new Amazon Fulfillment centre

August 15, 2019   ·   0 Comments

Written By JULIA LLOYD

The new Amazon Fulfillment centre in Caledon will bring 800 full-time jobs to the community, starting at 15.75 an hour with benefits. 

On Tuesday (August 13) Amazon held a hardhat tour to celebrate the construction process to date and announced Amazon’s plans for the centre, as well as showcase the economic impact it will have in Caledon. 

The fulfillment centre in Caledon, located on Coleraine Drive, is one of six other centres in Ontario. The other locations include Ottawa, Brampton, Mississauga and Milton. 

“Amazon Welcome. This new centre is a win win for both of us and we are thrilled you are here,” said Mayor Allan Thompson during opening remarks before the start of the tour. 

The hardhat tour was not open to the public; however, the tour was open for local government officials, stakeholders, media and Amazon’s leadership team. Attendees included Caledon’s local officials, Mayor Thompson, MPP Sylvia Jones, and councillors Ian Sinclair and Christina Early. 

“This is a great example of what our provincial government is working to achieve,” said MPP Donna Skelly, parliamentary assistant for the Ministry of Economic development, who was also present for the hardhat tour. 

Skelly noted that when she came to the centre before today, she saw community members really interested in seeing what the place is all about and noticed some individuals picking up job application forms.  

“The community is excited,” said Skelly. 

The tour started at the front of the facility. Andrew Ivansky, assistant general manger, was the tour guide and showed how products will be stored, accessed and then shipped within the centre. 

General Manger of the project, Anush Man explained that in other facilties, such as the one in Mississauga, the entire building is automated. Man explained that research showed that the Caledon centre requires human staff and would only be working with small products, books and apparel. 

The inventory are stored in what is called a pick-tower. The one at the Caledon centre has four levels and floor space is approximately the size of 80 hockey rinks, with a gross volume of 3.7 million cubic feet. It will be the largest such facility in North America. 

The construction of the centre utilized 31,500 cubic metres of concrete and over 6,000 tonnes of steel. The centre also utilizes more than 12 kilometres (km) of in-house conveyer belts. A new element of this facility is the staff designed an in-house prayer room for employees with religious needs.

Amazon will hire seasonal employees for the holidays and each of them will have the opportunity to convert into regular full-time jobs, explained Anush Man. 

The new centre will offer employees innovative programs like Career Choice, where the company offers skills training and pays 95 per cent of tuition for courses for in-demand jobs. Currently, career choice has 16,000 participants. At the centre, people in the career choice program can take classes at the centre. 

In the future, Anush Man said that they want to expand to include actual courses, from local community college or other accredited education institutions. 

Amazon provides more than $40,000 to non-profit organizations and local schools that are delivering STEM-related technology and supplies to support the next generation of learning. 

At the opening remarks on Tuesday before the hardhat tour, Amazon presented Alpha Dogs, a robotics team at Humberview Secondary School, with a $13,000 cheque. 

“We believe that the skills that they’re learning from this program are directly applicable to when they go to post-secondary in the workplace,” said Anush Man, after the cheque presentation. 

MPP of Dufferin-Caledon Sylvia Jones was very excited for this new opportunity for Caledon and explained the process in which Caledon was chosen as a location for a new fulfillment centre. 

“A lot of different reasons went into the site selection, part of it is the number of major highways, the fact there is the rail and so the company makes an assessment and have short lists and then start approaching municipal level of government try to understand certain costs like electricity and look at unemployment rates,” she explained. 



         

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