Mayor Karen Goh cut the ribbon for Bakersfield's Amazon Fulfillment Center in August, and now Shafter Mayor Cathy Prout said their city will have their own, potentially by November. Because of this one-million square foot center to open in Wonderful Industrial Park, 1000 full-time and part-time jobs are on the horizon in the city.
"Amazon is excited to make this investment in Kern County that will support local economic development and help us deliver to our growing number of customers in the region," Amazon's Director of Regional Operations, Jordan Nelson said in part in a recent statement.
“They’re interested in investing in our community, because they’re going to be here, and that’s important,” Mayor Prout said.
The City of Shafter announced that among these 1,000 jobs, Amazon is hiring associates to pick pack and ship items. They’re also hiring positions in human resources, operations management, safety, security finance, and information technology.
Prout added that because of the benefits and continuing education opportunities Amazon offers their employees, they may start in a $15 an hour position, but they have potential for job mobility.
Plus, she said The City of Shafter’s education department works to make sure the community has access to education resources locally, including bringing Bakersfield College resources to Shafter.
“You can expand yourself and have the opportunities,” Prout said. “They’re right here close to home.”
Prout said the recent surge in jobs from to their city bringing in Ross, Target, Walmart, and now Amazon, has been in the works since the mid ‘90s. The City of Shafter's Economic Development Director, Bob Meadows told 23ABC that in the past year, about 3,000 have been created in the city, including the upcoming ones from Amazon.
In order to increase jobs, the city has been building new places for future employees to live.
“I can tell you right now many of the places we built Gossamer [Grove] are housing the employees even at the other Amazon (in Bakersfield),” Prout said. “So, if you come from out of the area, or you want to live closer to where you work because that seems ideal for your future, you have your housing and job close by.”
The city’s goal is to build more houses on seventh standard road. Prout said home building company Lennar is planning to build 3,400 houses in Shafter this year and has been permitted for 1,500 so far.
“Down south, or even up north, I’ve heard people say they’ve had enough of the big metropolitan areas, so they relocate,” Prout said.
Prout said the city is trying to coordinate job fairs with Amazon to assist in the hiring process. 23ABC will keep you posted on those as well as when the job applications go live.