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Amazon Fulfillment Center, Expected To Create 800 Jobs, Breaks Ground Near Pittsburgh Airport

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Amazon broke ground on a new facility near Pittsburgh International Airport that will employ more than 800 people.

KDKA's Rick Dayton reports the fulfillment center near the airport will be a million square feet on 86 acres in Findlay Township, Allegheny County.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the project was held on Wednesday. Ironically, Amazon is building on ground that isn't good for other types of construction.

"The reality is worms, soil and groundhogs don't pay taxes," says Janet Craig, Findlay Township Supervisor.

"I mean, that is really the way we look at it. I mean, this land has been strip-mined. It's not great soil so you can't build a bunch of residents or houses out here because you wouldn't do that."

This is the 11th fulfillment center in Pennsylvania, but Rick Dayton reports this will be the first in Western Pa.

"Construction is just beginning, but we anticipate this building will launch in time for the 2020 holiday shopping season," says Rob Long, Amazon's Director of Operations for the Northeast Fulfillment Center.

The facility will specialize in fulfilling orders of large items like sporting goods, large household items and pet supplies. It will be large enough to ship 200,000 unique items from under one roof.

"Pennsylvania really works well with Amazon's model of delivering their products the most efficient way possible -- not just in Pennsylvania, but all throughout the east coast," says Secretary Dennis Davin of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.

Amazon says the items in it are some of the largest in the company's inventory.

"We break down based on size of product so we have sort and non-sort," says Long.

"Sortables is anything basically smaller than a filing cabinet drawer and then non-sort is anything larger than a filing cabinet drawer."

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald says he believes this will be the largest building in Allegheny County, "and maybe one of the biggest in the region."

"The only that might approach this is the old Sony facility out in Westmoreland County," Fitzgerald says.

Amazon says it already employs more than 10,000 Pennsylvanians. The company also says it has invested $8.7 billion in the state in less than a decade between 14 fulfillment and sortation centers, and one tech hub.

Amazon pays a minimum wage of $15 per hour.

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