WACO, Texas – Amazon made it official on Friday – they are planning to open a new fulfillment center in Waco in 2021.
A group of politicians and local business people, led by Governor Greg Abbott, welcomed the company to town with a small ceremony at the Waco Convention Center.
To show just how massive the new complex will be, Governor Abbott broke it down in a way Texans would surely understand.
“Our saying is that Everything is Bigger in Texas. That includes Amazon,” Abbott said. “The facility that Amazon is opening up here is more than 12 Baylor football fields. That’s just amazing.”
The one in Waco will be a Robotics Fulfillment Center – meaning it will pick, package and ship items like books, toys and electronics.
It will also bring 1,000 new jobs to the area – but this might be just the beginning.
“It creates a ripple effect,” Abbott said. “1,000 new jobs could lead to an additional 2,000 more jobs in the Central Texas region that will be supporting Amazon and its employees.”
In a year where people are losing their jobs left and right due to COVID-19, a new fulfillment center can provide the region with stability and an optimistic outlook.
“It’s kind of a shot in the arm so to speak to our bad psyche caused by the pandemic,” McLennan County Judge Scott Felton said. “I think we’re gonna get out of this funk that we’re in before long, and this is the best way to do it. Is to bring good news to the community.”
From Amazon’s standpoint, their choice to come to Waco remains simple – it can bring a lot of packages to a lot of people a lot faster.
“As we’re getting more and more to next-day and same-day shipments, it becomes more and more about speed and being able to hold inventory in a place that’s closer to that customer – so we can be able to get that shipment to them quickly,” Amazon Fulfillment Center General Manager Evan Luscher said. “For Waco, when we look at the market demographic, we’re able to be able to support them here in Waco much more quickly than we could potentially from Houston or Austin or Dallas.”
Local officials believe this isn’t just a stop gap for Amazon.
“They don’t spend the amount of money they’re gonna spend and pick up and leave in a few years,” Felton said. “They’ll be here for generations.”