Mississippi Amazon Facility To Open In July After Delay

CANTON, Miss. (AP) — Amazon's newest fulfillment center in Mississippi is set to open in mid-July, 18 months after the company announced the project.

Joey Deason, executive director of the Madison County Economic Development Authority, on Thursday confirmed the July 18 opening of the state's third such facility, The Clarion Ledger reported. The company has other centers in Byhalia and Olive Branch.

“We are looking forward to the start of operations in July, and they are excited to get started as well,” Deason said. “They’ve had multiple boots on the ground, working from a management standpoint for well over a year.”

The 700,000-square-foot (65,000-square-meter) facility at the Madison County Mega Site in Canton is expected to bring more than 1,000 full-time jobs to the area. It will function as a holding and sorting facility for many of the products Amazon sells and ships, a place where people will work alongside robots to fill orders and deliver packages. It will also be the first in Mississippi to feature Amazon’s robotics technology.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the global supply chain has been stymied, complicating shipping, spiking prices and decreasing output. When the facility was announced in November 2020, it was set to be operational a year later, with jobs filled by the 2021 holiday shopping season.

“It’s my understanding that Amazon has been deploying much of those resources to other locations until this facility was up and running,” Deason said. “They have obviously had some issues with supply chain. Now that they are ready, we are excited to see them onboarding people.”

Deason said he believes the hiring process will begin the first week of June and will continue for 45 days until the beginning of operations. While the commitment is for 1,000 jobs, he said the number could jump to as many as 1,800 during the holiday season in November and December.

While the building is complete and ready to go, he could not confirm whether all the work inside the building has been completed.

“I can say that the building is to a point where they are ready to go and begin operations,” Deason said.

He said he expects over the next 30 days there will be a print, media, radio and social media blitz to reach potential employees and fill the 1,000 jobs being offered. The positions are expected to start at $15 an hour and provide benefits.