Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Amazon is continuing its investments in Virginia with the launch of two new, state-of-the-art operations facilities in Hampton Roads that will create 1,500 new jobs. Amazon will establish a multi-story robotics fulfillment center in the City of Suffolk, creating 1,000 new jobs, as well as a 650,000-square-foot processing center (cross-dock) in the City of Chesapeake, which will bring 500 new jobs. Both operations are anticipated to launch in 2021. Governor Northam made the announcement at Old Dominion University’s Virginia Modeling, Analysis, and Simulation Center in Suffolk, where he was joined by local leaders and Amazon officials.
“Virginia has proven itself to be a prime destination with the business climate, infrastructure, global access, trained workforce, and talent pipeline that Amazon needs for its continued growth here,” said Governor Northam. “With an existing workforce of more than 10,000 full-time employees across our Commonwealth, Amazon’s economic impact in Virginia cannot be overstated. We celebrate the addition of two new, high-tech facilities in Suffolk and Chesapeake that will positively benefit the entire Hampton Roads region.”
Amazon first launched its Virginia fulfillment operations in 2006 with a fulfillment center in Sterling. Since then, the company has grown its robust operations network to include more than 10 fulfillment and sortation centers and delivery stations in Ashland, Chester, Clear Brook (Frederick County), Petersburg (Dinwiddie County), Richmond, Springfield, and Sterling. In addition to the company’s Arlington headquarters, Amazon also has 13 Whole Foods Market locations across the state and three Prime Now Hubs in Virginia Beach, Richmond, and Springfield.
“Virginia is a great state for business, and Amazon is excited to continue its growth and investment with two new, state-of-the-art operations facilities in Chesapeake and Suffolk,” said Alicia Boler Davis, Amazon’s Vice President of Global Customer Fulfillment. “The Commonwealth and its incredible workforce have been vital to our ability to serve our incredible customers and provide great selection and super-fast Prime shipping speeds across the state and the region.”
“Amazon is creating fulfillment and processing centers of the future, and we are proud that the Commonwealth is a thriving hub for the company’s supply chain,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “The new operations in Suffolk and Chesapeake will utilize the Port of Virginia, which is a critical economic development driver for the region and the Commonwealth.”
Since 2010, Amazon has invested more than $34 billion in Virginia through its local fulfillment center and cloud infrastructure, research facilities, and compensation to thousands of employees. Amazon’s investments in Virginia contributed an additional $11 billion into the economy and, using methodology developed by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, the company estimates its investments in the state have created an additional 40,000 indirect jobs on top of Amazon’s 10,000 direct hires.
All Amazon associates go through hours of safety training and ongoing coaching and have access to continuing education opportunities through the company’s upskilling program, Career Choice, in which Amazon will pre-pay up to 95 percent of tuition for courses related to in-demand fields, regardless of whether the skills are relevant to a career at Amazon. Since the program’s launch, over 25,000 employees have pursued degrees in game design and visual communications, nursing, IT programming, and radiology. In addition, Amazon has pledged to invest over $700 million to provide upskilling training for 100,000 U.S. employees for in-demand jobs.
“At Amazon, we want to help our employees get the skills they need for today’s—and tomorrow’s—most in-demand jobs,” said Ardine Williams, Amazon’s Vice President of Human Resources for Worldwide Operations. “We believe so strongly in supporting our employees’ long-term career goals and the continued growth of the communities in which we operate, which is why we are committed to the workforce development of Virginians across the state. These programs will help Amazonians from all backgrounds access training to move into highly skilled roles across the company’s corporate offices, tech hubs, fulfillment centers, retails stores, and transportation network, or pursue career paths outside of Amazon.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the City of Chesapeake, the City of Suffolk, the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance, and the Port of Virginia to secure the project for Virginia. Amazon is eligible to receive benefits from the Port of Virginia Economic and Infrastructure Development Zone Grant Program, and funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.
“The impact of Amazon’s arrival supports the City of Suffolk’s long-term vision and commitment to developing Northgate Commerce Park,” said Suffolk Mayor Linda T. Johnson. “We appreciate Amazon’s trust and investment in Suffolk, and we look forward to being part of the Amazon family.”
“The City of Chesapeake is extremely pleased to welcome Amazon to our ever-growing family of local, national, and international businesses,” said Chesapeake Mayor Rick West. “This new facility will serve as a key operations facility for Amazon’s fulfillment network in the state, just as Chesapeake serves as the hub of south Hampton Roads. With 500 new jobs, Amazon’s confidence in Chesapeake is clear, and we’re committed to helping them rise up and leverage all our city has to offer.”
“Amazon is making significant investments throughout Virginia that are helping to drive job growth, fuel the economy, and move cargo through The Port of Virginia,” said John F. Reinhart, CEO and Executive Director of the Virginia Port Authority. “This strategic move to build in Chesapeake and Suffolk allows Amazon to be near the Mid-Atlantic’s premier global gateway and capitalize on the investments the port is making in efficiency and capacity. We value Amazon’s decision and are looking forward to a long, collaborative, and beneficial relationship.”
“We are thrilled that Amazon has selected Chesapeake and Suffolk for its two newest fulfillment and processing facilities,” said Doug Smith, President and CEO of the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance. “This announcement is a big win for the 757 and further solidifies the Hampton Roads region as a premier location for distribution-related business investment. We appreciate the collaborative efforts of our many regional and state partners who worked together to secure this project for Virginia, and we look forward to Amazon’s continued growth and success in our region.”