On Friday, April 12, local elected officials and community leaders were invited for a special grand opening ceremony and tour of the newest Amazon Robotics fulfillment center in Lake Nona. This event was the first time the community saw the inside of the new facility.
Since opening in August 2018, the over 850,000-square-foot fulfillment center in Orlando has hired more than 1,500 full-time, full-benefit employees who pick, pack and ship smaller customer items such as books, electronics and toys. General Manager Kirc Savage shares, “In addition to the more than 1,500 jobs in this fulfillment center, Amazon has created more than 10,000 full-time jobs for people with all types of experience, education and skill levels across Florida.”
The facility features innovative technology that assists employees in fulfilling customer orders. Why robots? Savage shares with us the intent is not for robots to replace people. “Robots are to support our associates. We want to make sure that we’re giving them the best work environment possible, and this is the safest, most efficient way for us to handle the volume that we do daily and still have an efficient operation.” On an average week, millions of packages are sent, and during the holiday season, even more.
In 2018, Amazon provided more than $300,000 to local schools around Florida, but the partnership highlighted at the ceremony was Tech Sassy Girlz, a local nonprofit supporting women in technology. The nonprofit’s mission is to close the opportunity and earning gap through pursuing careers in STEM. Last year, $15,000 was donated to Tech Sassy Girlz to create the first STEM lab serving greater Orange County elementary, middle and high schools.
“An Amazon presence in Orlando means more than just the jobs provided within these four walls. Providing young people with the opportunity to learn next-gen skills through hands-on activities is critical to developing the innovators of tomorrow. We are looking forward to working side-by-side with organizations like Tech Sassy Girlz to continue this mission.”
Members of the Orlando community joined Tech Sassy Girlz in learning about the different steps Amazon employees take when picking, packing and shipping items for customer orders. The distribution process starts at the truck bays, where items are unloaded to the facility and loaded onto conveyor belts and sorted into cabinets. When an order is placed, a robot goes out, grabs a cabinet, and brings the cabinet to the associate. All the associate has to do is take the item out and put it in a tray so that it can be packed.
Competitive wages start at $15 an hour minimum, and full‐time Amazon employees are eligible for comprehensive benefits starting on day one, including healthcare, 401(k) with 50% match, stock, bonuses and a network of support to help employees succeed. Amazon also offers regular full-time employees maternity and paternity leave benefits and access to innovative programs like Career Choice, where Amazon will pre-pay up to 95% of tuition for courses related to in-demand fields regardless of whether the skills are relevant to a career at Amazon.
Sophia Rogers leads The Rogers Team at Premier Sotheby’s International Realty. Family, relationships and real estate are her passions. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.