November 1, 2017

Kentucky Targets Deeper Amazon Ties on Heels of Prime Air Announcement

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Amazon made public last month its plans to establish a second headquarters operation in North America that will employ up to 50,000 people. Kentucky and the Cabinet for Economic Development in turn have presented their case that the company should stick to what has worked for years: locate in the commonwealth.

Amazon first made its home in Kentucky in 1999 with the establishment of a fulfillment center in Campbellsville, and it has capitalized on the state’s advantages for nearly two decades since. The company has grown to include 11 facilities in five counties that employ 12,000 Kentuckians full-time and as many as 40,000 during peak seasonal periods.

That presence is already set to grow exponentially in the coming years with the addition of 2,700 positions behind this past January’s announcement of a nearly $1.5 billion investment to locate the Amazon Prime Air global shipping hub at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) in Northern Kentucky.

Kentucky’s central location – less than a day’s drive from more than 60-percent of the US population – and strong distribution and logistics industry – 450 facilities employing 60,000 people – have contributed to Amazon’s growth in the state over the 18 years. The company’s decision to locate its Prime Air operation in the commonwealth is sure to strengthen that relationship even further as the company continues to expand.

Though Amazon is not likely to make a decision on the location of the new headquarters until 2018, Kentucky’s economic development team stands ready to present the case that the state has the resources and available workforce to take the partnership to the next step.

Below is a timeline indicating the company’s rapid and extensive growth throughout Kentucky with the state’s assistance.

Amazon in Kentucky Through the Years

May 1999 – Amazon establishes a presence in Kentucky with the announcement it will locate a nearly $38 million fulfillment center in Campbellsville that will create 1,000 jobs. The company also announced a $37.5 million investment that would create 500 positions at the newly established facility in Lexington. Amazon shipped its first order from the Campbellsville location in August 1999.

February 2004 – A zappos.com facility to be located in Shepherdsville was announced with a $2 million investment that would create 200 jobs.

December 2004 – It was announced that zappos.com would invest an additional $40.5 million that would create 643 jobs in Shepherdsville. The company was acquired by Amazon in 2009.

April 2005 – Amazon announces it will locate its first operation at the CVG airport in Hebron (CVG1) with a more than $2 million investment that would create 55 jobs.

October 2005 – The company expands its presence in Northern Kentucky (CVG2) with a more than $4 million investment to create 80 jobs.

February 2007 – Amazon announces the first expansion of its existing Kentucky operations with separate investments of $782,000 and $561,000 at CVG1 and CVG2 in Hebron and a total of 35 additional jobs.

September 2007 – The company announces an additional 500 positions at its fulfillment center in Campbellsville.

October 2007 – The company announces an additional 400 positions at its fulfillment center in Lexington.

August 2011 – Amazon announces an additional 1,300 jobs at its Zappos fulfillment centers in Shepherdsville.

May 2012 – Amazon shares plans to establish a more than $20.7 million, 80,000-square-foot customer service center in Winchester that would create 550 jobs. A grand opening was held at the facility in August 2013.

November 2013 – Amazon announces it will add 350 positions at CVG1 in Hebron.

January 2014 – The company adds a third operation (CVG3) in Hebron with a $1.5 million investment.

November 2014 – Amazon expands its Campbellsville facility with a $4.3 million investment.

November 2014 – Less than one week following the Campbellsville announcement, Amazon announced 200 new jobs at the CVG2 facility in Northern Kentucky.

January 2015 – The company announces an additional 100 positions at the CVG1 fulfillment center in Hebron.

October 2016 – Amazon once again announces an expansion of its Campbellsville fulfillment center with an $11 million investment that will create 150 jobs.

January 2017 – Amazon selects the CVG Airport as the home of its nearly $1.5 billion Prime Air hub. The project is expected to create 2,700 jobs.

Total: Since locating in the commonwealth in 1999, Amazon has invested more than $1.65 billion in the state and created 8,763 jobs for Kentuckians.

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