Online retail giant Amazon helps revive California economy

150 150 Cheryl Getuiza

(photo credit: Adriana Hernandez, City of Patterson)

Many have waited. Now the moment is here. Amazon jobs have arrived in central California. That’s right, the second of three fulfillment centers in the state, located in the city of Patterson, is near completion, so let the hiring begin.

“We want our residents, who are not working, into these good paying jobs,” said mayor Luis Molina.

The mayor has received too many calls to count from folks wondering when jobs would be available or how they could apply.

To prepare those interested in a job, Amazon held two “hiring informational sessions, where people got to hear from Human Resources representatives as well as current employees whose testimonies were shown on a video. Essentially it was an overview of what they could expect as an employee. Most importantly it was to help people apply as Amazon only accepts applications online,” said the mayor.

Amazon is being tight lipped about how many jobs are available. Only to say they will hire “hundreds and hundreds.”

“I tell folks in the community that Amazon is keeping their information close to their vests.”

 The one million square foot facility will handle large item shipments. The bulk of jobs will be hourly positions.

Any amount would be a big boost for the local economy as Patterson’s unemployment rate is currently 16.8 percent.

The center, originally slated to open in the spring is expected to open its doors late summer or early fall.

“They are working day and night. I don’t think Amazon will let the holiday shopping season by go. I expect the center to be up and running well before the holidays,” said Molina.

“Once this fulfillment center opens, it will not only be great for the city of Patterson, but he county of Stanislaus as well.”

Besides Patterson, Amazon is calling the cities of San Bernardino and Tracy home too.

The Tracy center is expected to open in the fall.

“Tracy citizens are quite excited about having Amazon as a neighbor, business and job creator in town.  I cannot go anywhere in town without someone mentioning what a great thing this is for Tracy,” said Mayor Brent Ives. 

“City leaders are of course glad that the sales tax generated by the facility will help the City coffers substantially and allow us to provide the levels of service to which Tracy citizens have become accustom, even in the face of a challenging economy. Additionally, Amazon puts Tracy on the economic development map. Other companies are contacting Tracy about locations for their expansions or re-locations too. We have needed to hire more economic development staff to keep up with the excitement generated about Tracy as a prime location for business in northern California.”

Amazon’s San Bernardino general manager said that facility has 700 full-time employees who are paid 30 percent more than a retail store worker. And during the holidays, Amazon hires hundreds of part-time employees to fill orders.

Amazon has a proven commitment to revive the state’s economy with all of these jobs.

Jobs and the economy is issue number one with Californians. In fact, Workforce continues to be a signature initiative of the California Economic Summit where, amongst many things, Action teams are working on creating more middle class jobs.

California Forward and the California Stewardship Network have worked the past two years on the Summit process. The second annual event is in Los Angeles in November.

All three centers bring the kind of feel good economic news we like to hear about, especially because thriving regions lead to a thriving state.


Cheryl Getuiza

All stories by: Cheryl Getuiza