Amazon Robotics fulfillment center

At an Amazon Robotics fulfillment center being built on Yuma Road and South Bullard Avenue in Goodyear, 1,000 humans will work alongside robots. Also in Goodyear, Amazon is building a cross-dock facility at Indian School Road and Cotton Lane on 90 acres it purchased for $20 million. 

In the West Valley, Amazon is delivering—and not just hats, mouse traps, electronics, books (which is how the company started) and thousands of other items ordered during the pandemic.

Amazon is about to deliver jobs, by the hundreds.

Last week, Amazon said it was creating 11 new sites across the Valley—including two major facilities in Goodyear and a “Merch by Amazon” store in Avondale. 

The new sites are expected to create more than 3,000 jobs with a minimum $15-per-hour wage “and comprehensive benefits starting on day one.”

Near Yuma Road and South Bullard Avenue, construction workers are finishing Amazon’s 855,000-square-foot warehouse. There, Amazon said, “employees will work alongside Amazon robotics to pick, pack and ship small items to customers such as books, electronics and toys.”

In 2021, Amazon plans a cross-dock facility in Goodyear and a delivery station in Surprise, creating hundreds more full-time jobs in the West Valley. 

Less than a month after striking out with Nike, which backed out of a plan for a facility here, Goodyear hit a home run with the world’s largest online retailer. “We just can’t get enough Amazon in Goodyear,” gushed Mayor Georgia Lord.

Local resident Amber Kinion, for one, is less thrilled. “Litchfield (Road) used to be so peaceful! Now if you’re out in the morning you get caught in a wave of Amazon vans and if you’re out in the evening you’ll be waiting for a gas pump because they’re all there,” she commented on the West Valley View’s Facebook post about Amazon’s plans.

Those looking for jobs—especially in the pandemic economy that has tossed thousands out of work—will side with Lord.

Though robots will be doing some of the work, the Amazon Goodyear robotics center will create more than 1,000 human jobs.

Hundreds more jobs are expected at the cross-dock transportation hub. It will be at Indian School Road and Cotton Lane, said Matthew High, regional director of Amazon fulfillment.

Last month, Amazon bought the 90-acre site for $20 million.

Amazon also is building a delivery station on Sweetwater Avenue and Litchfield Road in Surprise, near northwest Glendale and Peoria, so trucks will be rumbling up and down Loop 303.

Though Amazon has been doing great business since shutdowns and stay-home orders during the COVID-19 pandemic, Amazon’s West Valley expansion “isn’t necessarily tied to the pandemic,” High said.

“We planned out several years in advance and put a process into where we wanted to locate our facilities. We look at the workforce and community partners—and Phoenix has an abundance of talented workforce. We aim to be as close to our customers as possible,” High said.

He said Amazon plans to have the robotic fulfillment center up and running in Goodyear by the end of the year.

In it, High said vacuum-cleaner-sized robots will help sort and pick inventory. “It will increase efficiency for our associates and cut down on shipping cycle time,” he said.

Amazon and Goodyear

This will be Amazon’s second robotics facility in the state and the only Amazon Robotics facility in the Valley. 

More than 1,000 full-time associates will work alongside Amazon Robotics  automated machines to pick, pack and ship smaller customer items such as books, toys and kitchenware. 

The new four-story facility is the largest building ever built in the city—the fulfillment center’s footprint is 855,000 square feet. With four levels, the building spans more than 2.3 million square feet.

Avondale is also part of Amazon’s plan, though on a smaller scale. Near 103rd Avenue and Roosevelt Street will be the site of Arizona’s first Merch by Amazon store, for “print on demand service that enables content creators to upload and sell custom content printed on apparel and electronics products to customers in Amazon’s stores,” according to a press release.

But Goodyear continues to be the hub of Amazon’s West Valley operations.

“We’ve had a Goodyear facility for just over 10 years,” High said. “We have a long-standing history in Goodyear, and it’s been a pretty solid cornerstone of Amazon’s fulfillment.”

In 2008, Amazon opened its first Goodyear fulfillment center, where more than 600 full-time employees pick, pack and ship large items to customers such as oversized boxes of diapers, dog food and paper towels.

Goodyear is also home to a delivery station and office team.

Currently, more than 900 full-time employees support Amazon operations in Goodyear.

High said Amazon will hire for a variety of positions, from associates who pick and pack merchandise to IT staff and engineers.

The other Goodyear location will be Amazon’s second cross-dock facility in the state. It is scheduled to open in 2021. The building will support customer fulfillment by receiving large orders of inventory and redistributing products to fulfillment centers across the company’s operations network.

“Amazon recognizes Goodyear as a top choice among cities in which to do business,” Lord said. “Despite the pandemic, development in our city is thriving. The future is very bright in the city of Goodyear, and we are thrilled that Amazon will contribute to our continued growth.”

As Amazon announced its wide-ranging plans, it joined politicians and job seekers in celebrating.

“It’s a great day for Amazon,” High said.

For information about Amazon job openings, visit amazon.com/phoenixjobs.